Thrive By 5

Father reading a book with his young son and daughter.

On Thursday’s Women Uncensored Raw Talk with Tico & Addi (on WSRF 1580AM,, at 6pm-8pm), we had the esteemed opportunity to interview Rachel Spector, of the Thrive by Five initiative which the Children’s Trust approved to begin late last year. Together with one of their grant recipients, Merline Pierre, of Garden of Light Academy, Ms. Spector shared this amazing initiative with us. We’ve added a blurb from the organization’s site, and compiled information regarding their goals for the benefit of parents, childcare workers and centers!

We would also like to thank Rachel Spector, Merline Pierre, and The Children’s Trust for sharing the information with the community, and for graciously entertaining the interview.

Taken from The Children’s Trust Website:


The Children’s Trust recognizes the importance of early brain development and its impact on later life success. As a result, we have invested in an array of strategies to support young children’s physical, cognitive, social and emotional readiness for starting school. Thrive by 5 aims to coordinate a continuum of service supports.

The Trust reviewed its systems of how it awards money, and has consequently re-vamped its structure to assure it is getting into the hands of professionals delivery high quality service. And Miami-Dade County is the only community in the country this mix of strategies, systems and assessment tools to insure that the money is spent wisely.

To support this endeavor, The Children’s Trust Board unanimously approved four funding resolutions linked to  their Thrive by 5 initiative. Altogether, these grants total $2.752 million to support high quality early learning childcare programs here in Miami-Dade.

And, this funding draws down an additional $20,120,000 in state and federal funding, grants that support over 2,660 early learning childcare slots for families that earn up to 200 percent of the federal poverty rate. 

The money focuses on agencies and organizations that provide programs and services that support young children’s physical, cognitive social and emotional readiness for starting school. (This investment also includes Early Head Start and early learning slots for the working poor and migrant families.)

Such as:

1). Early Intervention: Specialized autism evaluations, early intervention services, early childhood summer programs for children w/disabilities and early childhood research 

2). Early Learning Quality Improvement System Money supports on-site coaching, teacher scholarships, teacher salary supplements, tiered payment differentials and child scholarships. These incentives have been proven to encourage programs to improve and sustain their delivery of high-quality early learning services, which impacts young children’s readiness to enter school.

3). Parenting and Home Visiting Services focus on nurturing parent-child relationships, language-rich environments, age-appropriate child development, behavior management, child health, safety and injury prevention.

4). Early Literacy Support provides funding for Reach Out and Read, Read to Learn Book Club, Read to Learn Books for Free, and Summer Reading Explorers

For your reference, The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County by making strategic investments in their future.

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