Child Care Assistance On The Way In Riley County, Kansas
Dec 19, 2008
Across the country, concerns about child care abound from working parents worrying about affordability, to child care providers struggling to keep their doors open, to employers whose employees need reliable and stable child care arrangements in order to work. For families in Riley County, Kansas, help is on the way. The Greater Manhattan Community Foundation, serving Manhattan and Riley County, has received one of Kansas first Early Childhood Block Grant awards for 2009. The Block Grant was created earlier this year to fund a range of child care and early education initiatives that provide research-based services to young children at-risk.
The foundation will use a variety of strategies as part of their grant, according to a recent article. Low-income parents who are working or in school full time will receive scholarships for up to one-third of the cost of child care, to increase affordability. The foundation will also complement current community programs to identify developmental delays in young children, improve child care quality, and offer parent education on quality child care, through working with several community partners including: Raising Riley, Smart Start, the county health department, Head Start, and Infant Toddler Services. To ensure sustainability in the long term, the foundation is also building an endowment fund, reaching out to the business community for donations.
Parents in Kansas are not alone in their struggles with child care costs as families budgets are being squeezed. In these tough times, we need more solutions that bring everyone to the table government, foundations, private businesses, and community groups to focus on providing high-quality, affordable child care. It is not only important for young children and their working parents, but it is good for business and should be part of any local, state, and national economic recovery efforts.