More families now eligible for child care funding assistance in Routt County
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Working families struggling to afford child care will now have access to additional support thanks to an increase in income eligibility guidelines for the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program.
Before this change, a family of four grossing $3,870 a month or less was eligible for help. And now, a family of four can make up to $5,543 a month and receive funding through CCCAP.
“This is wonderful news,” said Crystal Brenegan, director of the Little Lambs Daycare in Phippsburg. “Middle-class families are having trouble affording child care. This will help so many families; it’s just wonderful.”
Little Lambs is a new facility and still has two openings in every age group it serves, which includes infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
Like many communities, Routt County has suffered from a shortage of infant and toddler child care options.
The CCCAP program, which is run through the Routt County Department of Human Services, requires both parents to be working looking for work or attending school to be eligible. A single parent must be receiving child support, with some exceptions.
“We’ve just begun reaching out to families that this is in place and could really affect (them),” said Tami Havener, executive director of the Family Development Center. “It will also help families with their monthly expenses … the bulk of their child care could be covered by the state and Routt County.”
• Routt County Department of Human Services: Public assistance programs including the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program, which helps parents fund child care. Call 970-870-5533 or stop by 135 Sixth St. in Steamboat Springs for more information.
• Family Development Center: Connects Routt County families with child care services and funding sources and runs Child Care and Newborn Networks and Discovery Learning Center. Visit http://www.familydevelopmentcenter.org or call 970-879-0977 for more information.
• Colorado Preschool Program: Helps families with 3- and 4-year-olds who might not have the opportunity to attend preschool before kindergarten with access to preschool. Families living in the South Routt School District can call 970-736-2313, in Hayden call 970-276-3864 and in Steamboat Springs call 970-870-5270.
• First Impressions of Routt County: Works with home child care providers and child care centers to promote quality programming. Call 970-870-5270 or visits its offices at 135 Sixth St. in Steamboat Springs for more information.
Child Care Network under the Family Development Center helps families find child care and connects them with funding sources.
“It is exciting we have an opportunity to serve additional families with the higher income cap,” said Stephanie Martin, program administrator for First Impressions of Routt County, which serves as the county’s early childhood hub, bringing resources together to support all newborns through children age 8 to ensure healthy development.
Martin reminds families across Routt County that there are a number of resources to help families with their child’s development.
“CCCAP is only one piece of the puzzle,” Martin said.
Martin said additional funding streams are available through the city and county as well as private funding through organizations like the Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation.
See the accompanying list of organizations that provide resources for families with young children.
A Family Connections resource guide, providing a comprehensive list of resources for families, can be accessed at http://online.fliphtml5.com/mptf/okys/?1538600141454.
Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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