SAUW Receives $200,000 Childcare Initiative Donation from Earl Bane Foundation


Salina, KS Salina Area United Way is pleased to announce that the organization has received a substantial donation of $200,000 from the Earl Bane Foundation to the Early Childcare Initiative Fund. Their donation will help create huge strides in the Childcare Initiative by sponsoring 33 local childcare teachers to ensure that they earn a living wage, helping to keep our centers fully staffed, which will in return open more childcare slots in the community.

This donation is another crucial step towards making strong and lasting steps in combating childcare issues and shortages due to workforce in Saline County. The Earl Bane Foundation seeks opportunities to award grants to organizations that will improve Saline County and the surrounding area, providing a better place for residents to live, work and play.

“With this donation, the Foundation continues the legacy of Earl Bane in supporting youth and families in Saline County,” says Robert Buster, President of the Earl Bane Foundation.

In April, Salina Area United Way announced the start and opening of the Early Childcare Initiative Fund at their organization. Through this fund, local centers will be able to apply on an annual basis for wage supplement grants, to bring assistant teachers to $15/hr. and lead teachers to $18/hr. Currently nearly all childcare centers in Saline County, except for one, are paying $4 less than the wages listed above.

“The Earl Band Foundation Board of Directors sees the need for quality childcare teachers,” says Claire Ludes, Executive Director of Salina Area United Way. “We can’t begin to thank them enough for this substantial donation that is changing the lives of children and teachers. The need for living wages and childcare slots go hand-in-hand, and we will keep chipping away until we have both for Saline County.”

For more information about Salina Area United Way and the Early Childhood Initiative Fund, or how you can donate, please call the SAUW office at 785-827-1312 or email the Early Childcare Initiative Director, Christina Small. Stay tuned for more upcoming information regarding the Early Childcare Initiative Fund and how Salina Area United Way and community partners are combating childcare issues in Saline County.