When Congress passed the welfare-to-work legislation in the late nineties, many families struggled to find employment as well as affordable, quality childcare programs for their children. Pastor Rollie Robinson challenged the congregation of Messiah United Methodist Church in Plymouth, Minnesota, to address this need.
Kids’ Care Connection (KCC) opened in July with half its capacity dedicated to low-income children through a community-funded scholarship program.
The unique KCC model was a success and the genesis for a wider community initiative. With an ongoing goal of breaking the cycle of poverty, KCC partnered with Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners ( IOCP) and Wayzata Public Schools to found Caring for Kids Initiative (CfKI) in order to help low-income single parents and families in our community gain self-sufficiency and provide the best start for children at risk by getting them ready for kindergarten.
Kids’ Care Connection reached $1,000,000 in scholarships and tuition assistance given to children from low-income families in our community.
In August of 2014, KCC changed its name to Bloom Early Learning & Child Care to better reflect its mission and better connect with families and the community. A separate 501(c)(3) non-profit, Bloom has become one of the finest early learning and childcare centers in our area and an invaluable resource for children and families.
Bloom Early Learning builds a fourth classroom, creating space to serve 18 additional preschool children.
Bloom Early Learning opens a second center housed at Plymouth Presbyterian Church to serve 46 additional children, half receiving scholarship assistance.
Today and Tomorrow
Bloom Early Learning & Child Care continues the original mission and vision of its founders by offering tuition assistance and dedicating up to half of total enrollment to children of families who could not otherwise afford a high quality early learning program. Bloom continues its successful partnerships with IOCP, Wayzata Public Schools and other agencies to support each of our scholarship families individually as needed to build family strengths.
Tuition assistance is provided primarily through Bloom’s Shirley Robinson Scholarship Fund. Over $350,000 is raised annually to fund the scholarships through generous donations from individuals, faith and civic organizations, and businesses in our community, as well as events and grants. Additional financial aid is provided to our families by Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners, Caring for Kids, County Child Care Assistance Program funds, and State scholarships.