ABINGDON, Va. -

Some Southwest Virginia children are getting some extra funding for their early education.

News 5 has learned the Virginia Department of Social Services, with assistance from the United Way Virginia Highlands and Smart Beginnings funded a $220,000 grant.

The grant will help childcare centers find ways to boost their pre-K programs.  The centers will use the money to pay for extra training for staff and high-quality education materials.

Amy Bowie, owner of Miss Amy's Child Care, says the effects of this grant can be felt throughout the community. "The community has to work together to make sure there is quality, high quality child care. It supports the area, supports jobs in the area. Without daycare, and without good childcare, people can't go to work and feel comfortable," said Bowie.

The program is designed to help ready young kids for kindergarten and is slated to run until next July, but the CEO of United Way Virginia Highlands Travis Staton expects this to be a long-term project.