By: Kevin Oklobzija, Rochester Business Journal
Monroe County has made enhancements to the child care subsidy program in an effort to ensure working parents have access to vital programs.
“As we all know, for many working parents, child care can be both an economic necessity and a barrier to advancement and greater opportunity,” County Executive Adam Bello said in a news release.
To make child care more affordable, and accessible, the following have or will be made:
» A reduction in the parent fee percentage for subsidized child care to 20 percent. Some families could save more than $560.
» Adding in the near future a community navigator service to the Department of Social Services, helping to break down barriers to child care for working parents. The service would walk parents through the application process and help them find convenient, safe and affordable child care. A request for proposal for that services will be issue in the coming weeks, Bello’s office said.
» Enabling the Department of Social Services to issue Child Care Eligibility certificates to parents who need child care fast but may be stuck in the paperwork process. The certificate would allow parents to immediately begin child care in order to start or keep employment.
“Taken individually, any one of these initiatives would signal this administration’s focus on ensuring that all families in Monroe County have access to quality, affordable child care,” Bello said. “But together these important enhancements will fundamentally move the needle when it comes to boosting Monroe County families, breaking down barriers that too often stand in the way of our hardworking families.”
Larry Marx, CEO of The Children’s Agenda, said quality, affordable child care plays a big role in development and success.
“Children who have quality early learning experiences are less likely to drop out of high school, use welfare assistance or become a teen parent, and more likely to go to college and have good health as an adult,” Marx said in a news release.