To provide the highest quality education and childcare services by awarding scholarships to children of diverse ethnic, socioeconomic and family backgrounds and aid in providing a safe, nurturing home through family health and safety training.
Kellie Rynn Academy provides scholarships for deserving families, to local child care facilities, that meet our high standards. Our scholarship recipients are given the opportunity to attend a child care facility that ranks in the highest levels of education and safety. The schools are educational facilities with nurturing environments, where parents may leave their children with confidence. Kellie Rynn Academy is committed to paying for 75% of the family's child care tuition. Parents are responsible for the remaining 25% as well as required to attend health and safety training courses throughout the year.
Kellie Rynn Academy provides safety and health training opportunities for our scholarship families and also offer the training to other Greenville County families. Specific development opportunities will include car seat safety check, CPR, fire safety, sleep safety etc.
Statement of Need:
Finding quality care on a budget can be daunting. As of 2018, in Greenville County, 205 childcare centers are recognized by DSS. In 2016, multiple childcare centers and in-home care services were shut down due to reoccurring DSS violations as a result of increases in state child care policies (HB4665). The average annual cost of child care in Greenville County is $5,855 annually. In Greenville County, 62.5% of families with a female led household have children under the age of 5 years old have income that is less than the poverty level. These households make less than $35,000 and roughly 19% earn less than $15,000 (U.S. Census Bureau).
There are a variety of options in the Upstate of South Carolina for Child Care. The availability varies across our four county service area. An assessment of child care programs reveals limited access to child care services for low income families due to high child care fees, hours of operation, limited availability, and lack of transportation. The average cost of child care for infant centers is approximately $5,855.00 annually and four year old centers the average cost are $5,455.00. Many of the public pre-k programs within our geographic area offer half day services. These facilities may not be beneficial to working parents because of limited time frame and eligibility criteria for at-risk children. In South Carolina, the subsidized child care program (ABC Voucher System) helps eligible families pay for child care services so that they can work or go to school or training. However, there has been a decrease in funding which impacts the number of available vouchers. (2016 Head Start Community Assessment).
According to the 2016 Head Start Community Assessment, the amount of licensed child care centers and family day care home has decreased in our service area since 2012. The amount of closures in the private for profit sector ranges in different counties for 6.8% to 50%. These closures indicate that there is a greater need for early childhood services in our service area. Parents need reliable and affordable childcare services so they can work to support their families. Safety is a difficult thing to determine, especially for lower income families who have limited options and resources. It is not uncommon for parents to resort to a patchwork of family, friends, and unregistered childcare facilities to watch their children while they work.
The money to support the scholarships is raised through generous donations by those passionate about the cause and through fundraising events. Currently Kellie Rynn Academy is looking into several fundraising opportunities, including the annual golf tournament at The Cliffs, at Mountain Park . Small fundraising opportunities will be held through out the year.