Posts tagged Jennifer Eads
Boulder County expanding access to quality child care assistance by raising qualifying income limits
Boulder County, Colo. – As increasing numbers of families in Boulder County struggle with economic challenges, the county is expanding access to quality child care assistance to help them re-establish their self-sufficiency.
Effective July 1, Boulder County will raise Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) income limits by over 25%. Previously, a family with income above 185% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) was ineligible for financial assistance for child care. Under the expanded eligibility guidelines, a Boulder County family can now have income up to 225% of the FPL and still qualify. As an example, for a family of three, this increases monthly income limits from $2,857 to $3,580. The expansion was requested by the Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services (DHHS) and approved by county commissioners.
“Work supports are a crucial part of an economic recovery,” said Jennifer Eads, director of DHHS’ Self-Sufficiency and Community Support Division. “The more we can do to help parents find jobs or complete their education, the better their chances are for re-building a lasting foundation for their families.”
An important part of Boulder County DHHS’ mission is removing barriers to work for families struggling to sustain themselves. CCAP provides crucial supports for parents and caregivers who are looking for a job or who are employed but are unable to afford quality care for their children. Boulder County’s expansion of this program recognizes both the ongoing employment challenges and the high cost of living in the county.
Boulder County Commissioner Deb Gardner said she was happy to support the eligibility expansion. “This has been a difficult past few years for so many of our neighbors,” Gardner said. “If we are going to have a real and lasting recovery, we need to help people get back on their feet.”
Currently, parents and caregivers of nearly 1,000 children are receiving child care assistance through CCAP in Boulder County. Quality child care providers across Boulder County accept CCAP payments. The county currently receives about ten applications per month from families above 185% of the FPL. Of the seventeen Colorado counties now allowing incomes up to 225% of the FPL, Boulder County is the largest in terms of population.
Christina Ostrom, Boulder County’s Family and Resident Support Services Division Manager, oversees the CCAP program and the county’s partnership with Aspen Family Services, which administers the eligibility portion of the program. “I’m thrilled that Boulder County is able to increase the income limit for families struggling to pay child care costs,” she says. “Many families don’t realize they are eligible, and hopefully now they’ll call for a screening.”
The CCAP expansion will be funded through revenue generated by the Temporary Human Services Safety Net (TSN). The TSN (Ballot Initiative 1A) was approved by voters in November 2010, and is a five-year increase in property taxes that is designed to backfill cuts to state funding for human services in Boulder County.
CCAP Eligibility and other requirements are available at www.bouldercountychildcare.org or by calling Aspen Family Services at 303-604-1043, extension 2828.