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Mayor Daniel Rivera announces a $400,000 investment by the City of Lawrence to provide 200 Lawrence children with licensed child care programs. In a partnership with The Community Group and several Lawrence-based child care providers licensed under the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), the City will create a scholarship fund to serve the neediest families, those who do not meet the financial requirements to qualify for childcare subsidies but are under a certain income amount, or “cliff families.” The partnership will also increase capacity at EEC-licensed programs across the City in hopes of deterring families from pursuing both unlicensed and unsafe child care options. “We have seen families in difficult situations these past couple of months; being put in a position of having to decide between losing their jobs, leaving their kids home alone or placing them with unlicensed providers,” says Mayor Dan Rivera. “We know Lawrence parents have to get to work and we have to make sure that they have licensed child care options so they can do so. The goal of this partnership is to create these options at an affordable cost for residents to eliminate the need of families to resort to unlicensed child care providers. If we want to restart our economy, our workers have to have safe and affordable options for child care.”
The newly implemented program will not only reduce cost but will also provide children with safe, structured care environments where they will benefit from reliable access to internet connectivity, adults familiar with their remote learning plans; nutritious food, physical activity and outdoor play, as well as safe and socially distanced interactions with peers. The Mayor’s Child Care Scholarship Fund will be available at a number of licensed child care providers across the city, making it easy for families to choose providers that best meet their needs. “Providing quality educational programs and supporting families is at the heart of what we do,” states Maria Gonzalez Moeller, CEO of The Community Group. “We are grateful to Mayor Dan Rivera for his support - families need child care assistance now more than ever and this new scholarship fund will ensure that children are attending safe, licensed, high-quality child care programs. We know that access to high-quality child care helps both children and their families to thrive.”
About the Mayor’s Child Care Scholarship Fund:
The program will be managed and administered by The Community Group. With the $400K investment, the City has created a Mayor’s Child Care Scholarship Fund that will be administrated by the Child Care Circuit, the region’s state-designated Child Care Resource and Referral Agency operationalized by The Community Group, to help families who do not already have a state child care subsidy. The investment will also provide funding to conduct a centralized screening process through the Child Care Circuit. The funds will be administered to families on a sliding fee scale based on household income and the number of children in the household, parent co-payments could range from $19-$40/day. The scholarship program is effective immediately and will remain in place until December 31, 2020, at which time it will be reevaluated for continuation.
Interested families should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-722-2593 / 978-722-2534 / 978-722-2560.
For more information about the Mayor’s Scholarship Fund or to search child care resources visit: www.childcarecircuit.org or www.thecommunitygroupinc.org