Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 40th anniversary of Family Central, Inc.
Since its founding in 1971, Family Central has played a pivotal role in the lives of South Florida families by providing quality, safe, and affordable child care. By working at the local level, Family Central serves as an essential community partner in improving the lives of the constituents of Florida's 20th Congressional district and beyond. Throughout our region, Family Central has served approximately one million children since its founding.
I applaud Family Central's work to ensure that families in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties have access to excellent child care. As a working mother, I understand the struggles that working families go through to provide and care for their children. With the number of parents working full time on the rise, more and more families are fully engaged in the daily juggling act of making ends meet and caring for their children.
Family Central provides safe and affordable child care to over one hundred thousand South Florida children annually. The role they play is critical to ensuring families do not have to choose between being able to afford child care and being able to trust that their child is safe.
Family Central also provides training to childcare practitioners, giving them new skills to help them create a learning environment that supports a child's emotional, cognitive, and developmental needs. In the years since Family Central was created, research has reinforced that early learning is an integral part of successful child development and reducing achievement gaps in our educational systems.
This wonderful organization not only helps provide care for children when parents are working, but it also helps parents to become better and more effective caregivers for their children at home. They are one of only ten groups in the country identified as a Nurturing Parenting Affiliate. By helping parents to nurture their children, Family Central helps the families of South Florida become and remain strong, stable, and united.
The difficult economic conditions of the past few years have been especially tough for working families across the country, and particularly in South Florida. Now more than ever, the essential services provided by community partners like Family Central are critical to giving children in our community an environment in which to thrive.
Congratulations to Family Central on their 40th anniversary--and thank you to everyone who has made it possible. I commend their service to our great state, to South Florida and to the families and children of Florida's 20th Congressional District.
I look forward to more great achievements from Family Central as it continues its long tradition of providing quality, accessible and affordable services to South Florida's families.
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