STAMFORD — The Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County has received a grant of a $35,000 from the United Way of Western Connecticut.

The grant will provide critical funding to enable families to access high-quality early childhood education at the the Children’s Learning Centers. The United Way said it is working to help families it describes as Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed, or ALICE.

“At United Way of Western Connecticut, we realize how important child care is to helping people get back to work and supporting their families,” said Isabel Almeida, president of United Way of Western Connecticut. “Children’s Learning Centers is a valuable partner in the Stamford area, providing quality care to the hard-working ALICE population. This funding enables parents to work and provides children with a good start in life. We are happy to help CLC support Stamford families through this grant.”

CLC serves families of all income levels and offers qualifying families a sliding scale of fees based on family size and income. CLC recently reopened all eight of its Stamford locations to serve 380 children, enabling nearly 500 parents to go back to work.

“We are extremely grateful for this grant from United Way of Western Connecticut,” CLC Chief Executive Officer Marc Jaffe said. “United Way’s support and partnership is vital to helping CLC fulfill its mission.”

Jaffe noted that throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Children’s Learning Centers has been providing remote support to enrolled families. But for months, the organization has strived to reopen so it can provide reliable and safe early childhood education and care, enabling parents to return to work.

“CLC is more than an early childhood education center, it is an economic engine,” he said. “We enable more parents of young children to work than any other nonprofit in Southwest Connecticut.”

Under normal circumstances, CLC educates and cares for 950 children a day, 51 weeks a year in its eight Stamford locations. In addition, CLC is the largest food provider to young children in Southwest Connecticut, serving nearly a half-million meals and snacks a year.

For questions about enrolling at CLC, call, 203-967-6960. Families interested in enrolling in Early Head Start or Head Start should call 203-989-0228.