A new grant program from the Maine Community Foundation will allow five communities across the state an opportunity to ensure their youngest children receive a healthy start and arrive at kindergarten developmentally prepared to succeed in school and life.

The competitive grant program is part of the foundation’s early childhood strategic plan. Funding of up to $25,000 for each grantee will allow community members to organize, gather data about their 0-5 population, map community resources, identify barriers and develop an action plan to address challenges and improve kindergarten readiness.

Contributing partners to this program include the John T. Gorman Foundation and Michael and Denise Dubyak.

The deadline for applications is March 30. The online application and more details of the grant program are available at mainecf.org. For additional information, contact Stephanie Eglinton, senior program officer, at 412-0837.