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Donor Spotlight: Comic Relief US

Start Early partners with Comic Relief US and Red Nose Day to invest in 25 schools across the Educare Learning Network.

April 19, 2023
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Comic Relief USRed Nose Day logo (CRUS) is committed to breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Through the power of entertainment, CRUS drives awareness and amplifies the voices of children and families living in under-resourced communities.

You might know them best from Red Nose Day, their annual fundraising campaign that brings people together to laugh and have fun, while raising money and awareness to ensure all children are safe, healthy, educated and empowered in the U.S. and abroad. Through Red Nose Day, Comic Relief US engages the public and nonprofit and corporate partners to raise funds and invests them back in nonprofit organizations, many of which are community-led with programs focused on tackling the root causes and consequences of poverty and social injustice.

The Educare Learning Network has been a proud partner of CRUS and Red Nose Day since 2018. Since 2000, when Start Early developed the first Educare school in Chicago, the Educare Learning Network has grown into a national network of 25 birth-through-age-five schools in 15 states, Washington DC and the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. We are a network of learning hubs that innovate, evaluate and share best practices to transform the lives of young children in disinvested communities and positively impact the broader early childhood field.

Start Early, the Educare Learning Network and CRUS partner to improve the lives of children and families by investing in Educare schools to create training opportunities and enriching early learning programming that benefits Educare staff, children and families. For the past five years, funds awarded to Start Early have supported professional development, consultation and other learning opportunities for 2,000+ staff members across the Educare Network. Red Nose Day funds have also allowed the 25 Educare schools to develop new and innovative programs in the areas of science, tech, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM); social-emotional learning; family engagement; and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) and have impacted 5,000+ children and their families.

The staff now look at STEAM in a different light. What was once before avoided is now implemented without prompting. Messy play, experiments, recipes, engineering and more are now implemented with ease.

Educare school leader on Red Nose Day-funded programming
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Start Early and the Educare Learning Network feel fortunate for the many opportunities we have as a grantee partner of CRUS to enhance our programming and connect with new audiences. Being part of Red Nose Day has offered Educare opportunities for national media exposure, helping us share the importance of early learning. A great example of this was in May 2022, when an Educare Chicago Mentor Teacher was featured in a segment on the Kelly Clarkson show. This was an opportunity for TV viewers around the country to be introduced to the Educare name and mission, helping the public understand the value of our work and high-quality early childhood education programs. Additionally, the Educare Network’s promotion of Red Nose Day in 2022 was particularly successful as we shared nearly 100 social media posts and other communications during the campaign and reached an audience upwards of 35,000 across multiple platforms and channels.

We continue to be grateful for our partnership, and deeply appreciative of the important role the Educare Learning Network plays at multiple levels of the early childhood education sector, and the much-needed support the Educare Learning Network provides to children, early childhood education providers, and caregivers.

Comic Relief US
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Since its launch in the U.S. in 2015, Comic Relief US (CRUS) has fundraised over $380 million, with over $324 million raised through its signature Red Nose Day campaign to end child poverty.

Comic Relief US invests in nonprofit organizations, many of which are community-led, with programs focused on tackling the root causes and consequences of poverty and social injustice. CRUS supports initiatives that advance the health, safety, education and empowerment of children and caregivers in communities impacted by intergenerational poverty.

Funds raised through Red Nose Day in the U.S. support programs across all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico and around the world, ensuring all children are safe, healthy, educated and empowered.

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