Rotary Club of greater Bend awards $100,000 to expand ReVillage co-op childcare

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Parents and children mingle together at ReVillage, a non-profit parent childcare co-op aimed at reducing the cost of childcare in Central Oregon./KRISTEN CALDWELL

ReVillage Community Co-op Childcare Center to add 60 new spots for infants through five-year-olds

Rotary Club of Greater Bend (RCGB) announced a gift of $100,000 to ReVillage Childcare Center, for a Signature Project to address fundamental challenges faced by children and their families in our community. This funding supports a new, third site operated by the nonprofit ReVillage Community Co-op Childcare Center, which currently operates two sites in Bend for 31 children, age 2-5. ReVillage will open its newest site at Grace First Lutheran Church, providing up to 60 new spots of high-quality, affordable childcare for families with low and middle-median incomes.

ReVillage is a non-profit born out Storydwelling, a Bend-based Greater Northwest Area of The UMC Innovation Vitality project.

ReVillage was founded to build affordable, accessible, equitable childcare cooperatives. Their programs use underutilized spaces, train parents as part-time assistants, and partner with Baby Promise, Preschool Promise and Neighbor Impact to provide needed resources and subsidies for families otherwise stretched to pay the rising cost of childcare. In partnership with RCGB, ReVillage will use this funding for needed supplies, kid-sized furniture, play-based learning tools, and other critical investments to support children in this new site.

Deschutes County is considered a childcare desert by many, with regulated childcare spots available for only 10-20 percent of infants, toddlers, and preschool children.

“With housing costs that limit working families’ ability to afford rent or mortgage and other basic needs, Bend is increasingly becoming a place that is not affordable for young families. ReVillage was created to expand affordable, high-quality childcare to plant seeds in our childcare desert,” shared co-founder Becca Ellis.

“Rotary Club of Greater Bend is dedicated to creating positive change, and that starts here in our own community,” said RCGB President Brian Stallcop, adding “We were impressed by ReVillage’s approach to play-based learning and their dedication to fair compensation and benefits for early education professionals. This grant is an investment in the future of Bend, with the intent to make it a place where more young families can thrive.”

“As one of Bend’s oldest congregations, Grace First Lutheran Church has watched and weathered over a century of change and growth. We’re proud to reach beyond our congregational walls and invite ReVillage in as a partner, serving and supporting our neighbors in raising healthy children — one of the best investments we can imagine in the world we want to see,” said Pastor Andrew Bansemer.

About Rotary Club of Greater Bend
Rotary Club of Greater Bend (RCGB) is a local service organization affiliated with Rotary International and has been serving the Bend community since 1976. With more than 100 active members, RCGB Rotarians regularly participate in hands-on service projects throughout Central Oregon. Rotary members are people of action dedicated to our community, who proudly live by Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self.” 

About ReVillage
ReVillage works to ensure that all Central Oregon families— across income, race, language, orientation & identity, and background — have the care and opportunity they need to thrive in work and in play by cultivating affordable, accessible, equitable childcare cooperatives; empowering parents; cultivating community; and advocating for system-wide, family-friendly practices and policies.

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