A new funding initiative from the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County will assist with child care costs for low-income families and will provide virtual learning resources like technology and education services.

The Learning Equity and Resource Needs for Children and Families (LEARN) Fund is launching with $150,000 available. Lead funding comes from IU and the IU Health South Central Region through a grant under the IU Health Community Impact Investment Fund, as well as additional funding support from the United Way of Monroe County and the Community Foundation, according to a news release.

Throughout the county, school and school district plans for the 2020-21 school year vary. The fund aims to help families get what they need for their children to learn effectively among the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grants from the fund will be distributed through child care providers, schools and nonprofit organizations that work directly with families and children who need assistance, the release states.

The first grant from the fund is $30,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington, which allows the clubs to provide child care for $20 per week per child. The clubs will care for children in “pods,” or small groups of up to 15 children, like they have been throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. More information can be found on the club’s website.

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