BrightStars announces partnership with United Way 2-1-1

Providence, RI, March 30, 2012 – BrightStars has been helping Rhode Island families find quality child care since 2009. Beginning in April 2012, BrightStars will enter a pilot program with United Way 2-1-1 in Rhode Island (2-1-1) to make its child care referral service available to more families. Anyone seeking information about child care can contact 2-1-1, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and in 175 languages and dialects. 2-1-1 is also available online at www.211ri.org. Families looking for child care should dial toll free at 1-855-398-7605 or visitwww.BrightStars.org.

“BrightStars makes it possible for families to have high quality options to meet their child care and after school needs. Our partnership with 2-1-1 ensures that families can access information on quality child care and receive referral assistance online or over the phone, 24 hours day”, said Tammy Camillo, Director of BrightStars.

According to the 2012 Zero to Three (www.zerotothree.org) Rhode Island fact sheet, 78% of mothers in the state with children under 6 years of age are in the labor force. This high proportion of working mothers with young children increases the need for child care referrals and family education about quality care for children’s success. More than 33% of children ages birth to 5 have parents who had to make emergency child care arrangements or change jobs for child care reasons. Child care referral specialists can assist these families by working to find creative solutions in response to unique requests or needs.
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“We’re pleased to partner with BrightStars to ensure parents are able to get the information they need to select high-quality child care,” said Anthony Maione, president and CEO, United Way of Rhode Island. “2-1-1 can not only help people in crisis but we can also be a valuable resource in finding job-skills programs, child care and resources for seniors and adults with disabilities.”

Child care referral specialists can assist families in:
•       Finding a child care, early learning or after school program that meets their needs
•       Learning more about choosing quality child care
•       Accessing information on financing child care, child development and more

About BrightStars
BrightStars is managed by the Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children. BrightStars helps families in Rhode Island access quality child care, early learning, and school-age programs. BrightStars also helps child care providers learn about best practices in early learning apply them to the care children receive. Visit www.BrightStars.org for more information.

About United Way 2-1-1 in Rhode Island
United Way 2-1-1 in Rhode Island (2-1-1) is an information and referral line available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in 175 languages and dialects. 2-1-1 is headquartered at United Way of Rhode Island. 2-1-1 is the fastest and easiest way to get information when you need it. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. One call gives you access to resources across your community, whether you need to get help – for you, for a family member or for a friend – or want to help. No more wrong numbers, no more wasted time trying to find the right person to call. Someone at 2-1-1 will help connect you to the services or information you need. Confidentially, for free, in your language.

 For more information

Jenny Guerrero, RIAEYC/ BrightStars

(401) 398-7605

 jguerrero@brightstars.org

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