The in Bethesda, Maryland, has announced a $12.75 million commitment to the to establish an early learning center in Orlando.
To be disbursed over ten years, the gift includes $5 million for construction and $7.75 million for operations of a facility that will serve approximately a hundred and fifty infants and toddlers. The Bainum Family Foundation also will provide technical assistance around the design, operations, governance, and ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the center, which is expected to open next summer.
The center is part of a broader effort led by to revitalize the West Lakes neighborhood by creating partnerships that drive investments focused on mixed-income housing, cradle-to-career education, community health and wellness, and long-term economic viability.
"LIFT Orlando's mission perfectly complements that of Florida Hospital, where we focus on bringing health and wellness to the whole community," said Daryl Tol, president and CEO of Florida Hospital and a board member of LIFT. "Providing access to early childhood programs is a great way to do that, and we're proud to support the investments being made to transform the Communities of West Lakes."
"The first three years of a child's life shape every year afterward," said Barbara Bainum, board chair, president, and CEO of the Bainum Family Foundation. "This unique developmental window — when 85 percent of brain growth occurs — lays the foundation for all future learning, behavior, and health [and puts] a child on a trajectory toward success in school and life or, in too many cases, a future in which the child does not fulfill his or her full potential."