PROVIDENCE – As a result of a partnership between the R.I. Department of Human Services and the R.I. Department of Health, five health equity zones throughout the state have received a total of $360,170 in preschool-development grants.

The selected health equity zones will use the funds to help families prepare children to succeed in school.

“Family members are the first, and often the most important, educators in a child’s early life, yet vulnerable families face significant economic, social-emotional and other barriers to fulfilling that role,” said Womazetta Jones, R.I. Health and Human Services secretary and Children’s Cabinet co-chair. “The preschool-development grants will increase the accessibility, choice, affordability and intensity of programs that are available in these communities.”

Grants were broken down as follows:

  • Woonsocket Health Equity Zone received $147,800.
  • Central Providence Health Equity Zone received $70,000.
  • Pawtucket Central Falls Health Equity Zone received $50,000.
  • Washington County Health Equity Zone received $50,000.
  • West Warwick Health Equity Zone received $42,300.

The initial 11-month contract period may be extended if the state is awarded a federal grant funding extension.

Preschool-development grants will be used for:

  • Central Providence Health Equity Zone is partnering with The Autism Project to implement the Conscious Discipline program to help families understand and support children’s social-emotional growth and development.
  • Central Providence Health Equity Zone is partnering with Federal Hill House to expand the Providence Talks Playgroup Model that instructs caregivers on effective talk, reading, playing and teaching during playgroups.
  • Washington County Health Equity Zone will expand the Incredible Years Parenting Groups by providing Incredible Beginnings Teacher Training to help teachers collaborate with parents on providing consistency from home to school.
  • Pawtucket Central Falls Health Equity Zone is partnering with Children’s Friend to expand the Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Project to address the needs of English learners.
  • Woonsocket Health Equity Zone is partnering with Connecting for Children and Families to expand the Parents as Teachers Family Home Visiting Program on programs for pregnant and parenting teens.
  • Woonsocket Health Equity Zone is partnering with Woonsocket Head Start to expand the Circle of Security parenting program to build secure bonds between parents and children.
  • Woonsocket Health Equity Zone is partnering with The Autism Project on the Conscious Discipline program.
  • West Warwick Health Equity Zone is partnering with Westbay Community Action Program to expand women, infant and children services, offer social service support through United Way 211, and promote early literacy efforts at the West Warwick Public Library.