Many families recognize what a significant investment of time and money it is to ensure their child(ren) get access to quality childcare and other life-enriching experiences. Like many cities, Portland’s low-income families, including many communities of color, immigrants, and refugees, simply don’t have the means to give their kids the same opportunities as their peers. And families with special needs often struggle to find providers who have the know-how or capacity to create an inclusive environment for their kids to participate.

As fellow parents, guardians, and community members, we must work together to bridge this divide, sharing a collective responsibility to ensure all our kids get the opportunity to expand their horizons and follow their curiosities beyond the classroom. In the near future, we’re aiming to roll-out an Equity Fund of sorts, to attempt to address this growing financial gap between the families who can afford childcare, camps, and classes, and those families who simply can not. Our hope is to ensure more of our underserved youth throughout the greater PDX community will be able to gain access to the wealth of life-enriching experiences this amazing city has to offer.

1% for the Kids! To help get things started, we’re dedicated 1% of all Growing Upwards revenue to this new equity fund. In time, we’re hoping to get more childcare and camp providers involved to join in the mission by also dedicated 1% of their sales to the Growing Upwards Equity Fund.

If you share in our mission, are a like-minded provider, and/or would like to lend your ideas or insights to help shape our equity agenda, we’d love to hear from you. In the coming months we’ll be looking to form an advisory group of families and providers to help guide this effort. Stay tuned for more updates to come.