The Franklin County RISE initiative will support families who earn too much to qualify for state funding for child care but cannot afford child care services.
Franklin County, Ohio – On Thursday, Franklin County Commissioners announced a $ 23 million investment in a new childcare initiative to benefit both families and providers.
The Franklin County RISE initiative, which commissioners see as “the most significant investment” seen by the Franklin County Childhood Education System, will directly support families who earn too much to qualify for state funding for childcare but cannot afford it. yourself childcare services.
Funding for the initiative will come from the U.S. Rescue Plan, the release said, and is based on previous Columbus funding.
Approximately $ 11.4 million in scholarships will go to families facing breakaway benefits, the release said.
“These benefits are the result of a federal policy that simply did not keep up with the cost of childcare,” said Commissioner Kevin L. Boyce. “If we really want people to be a workforce and move up the economic ladder, we need to find ways to make childcare affordable.”
Data provided by the Franklin County Council of Commissioners show that nearly one in six Ohio Children’s Centers that closed during the COVID-19 pandemic did not open.
As part of the $ 23 million investment, more than $ 11.3 million will go to support childcare providers. This includes incentives of up to $ 3,000 for providers accepting low-income families, and up to $ 5,000 per year to increase working hours.
In addition, $ 500,000 will go to help hire children to care for children, many of whom are predominantly women or colored people, the release said.
“This program is designed to empower families and provide them with the resources they need to benefit from many childcare benefits,” said Eric Karolak, CEO of Action for Children. “Quality childcare provides a lifelong impact for young minds, so it’s fun to influence our community without local government partners.”
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