Cary, NC—Lucy Daniels Center, the Triangle area’s largest and most comprehensive non-profit provider of mental health services for children, will receive grants totaling more than $1.2 million from the John Rex Endowment.

The Center, home to a 5-star, nationally accredited early childhood program with a focus on social and emotional support for children and their families, will receive $926,479 to improve the capacity of child care facilities to develop and sustain policies and practices that support the healthy social and emotional development of children. This major three-year initiative will provide workforce development for educators at 90 Wake County child care facilities and guide child care providers in developing a solid foundation in practices by supporting and augmenting the implementation of one of three nationally recognized curricular training models. The Center will collaborate in this endeavor with Wake County SmartStart, already a valued partner in the award-winning SecurePath program, which provides home-based behavioral intervention services for economically disadvantaged children ages birth-5 years.

“The collaboration between Lucy Daniels Center and SmartStart is a shining example of two organizations committed to a common cause and successfully working toward shared objectives,” said Deborah Mugno, Ed.D., the director of education and operations for the Lucy Daniels Center. “This initiative will encourage and embrace an interdisciplinary approach to early childhood mental health, addressing significant concerns about the capability of the workforce to provide quality care.”

A second grant of $300,000 has been designated to partially fund the expansion and enhancement of the Center’s on-site, outpatient mental health service for young children, Family Guidance Service, which has seen a dramatic increase in service hours in the past 10 years.

“As the largest nonprofit provider of mental health services for children in the Triangle, we have become an essential component of the fabric of care for children,” said Donald Rosenblitt, M.D., the Center’s executive and clinical director. “As other service providers have been forced to cut back or close, the regional population continues to grow, and poverty rates remain high, the need just gets greater. This funding for our expansion will help us continue to grow so that we can better serve the children and families in our community.”

The grants reflect the John Rex Endowment’s support of local early childhood initiatives and the Center’s message that social and emotional health is a critical component of childhood development.

Learn more about Lucy Daniels Center at

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Now celebrating 20 years of service to children and families, the Lucy Daniels Center, formerly the Lucy Daniels Center for Early Childhood, is a nationally recognized model for childhood mental health education and services. The Center is the largest and most comprehensive non-profit focused on providing mental health services to young children and their families in the Triangle and is conveniently located at 9003 Weston Parkway, Cary, NC 27513. For more information, visit  

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