Grin grow

Grin & Grow Child Care - Child Care Success Story

July 6, 2020

The working poor, or those hovering at or just above the poverty line, are often those most impacted by the current child care crisis. It affects their ability to get ahead or to just get by. Grin and Grow Child Care in Waterloo is a nonprofit center working primarily to meet the needs of this group of individuals and families, which includes those new to our country.

“We provide low-cost, high-quality child care for families looking to get a little boost to make their lives a lot better,” said Ed Gruenwald, director of operations and development at Grin and Grow. “We provide child care at an extremely low cost, much less than it actually costs to implement, but what’s most important is we still provide a very high quality, educational component.”

Operating under these parameters is tough, and Grin and Grow has worked closely with the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa to ensure its services are here for those who need them. 

“Having Kaye [Englin, CFNEIA president and CEO] advise our board and help us navigate through some difficult decisions was huge,” said Ed. “Financially, the grants couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s one of the reasons we were able to keep our doors open and continue to serve the community.”

CFNEIA made a $50,000 grant during its Celebration of Community event to Grin and Grow to leverage as a matching gift to encourage giving to the organization. That gift was quickly matched in full with a grant from a CFNEIA donor advised fundholder with a passion for the Waterloo community and the Grin and Grow mission. 

“The Community Foundation recognizes the impact child care has on the community and the economy. We’re helping families get started on a career path, and that can lead to great things down the road,” said Ed. “These are people who want to work and provide for their families. CFNEIA recognizes these investments go a long way to helping families.”