June 1, 2017
Boulder County Child Care Assistance Program Goes to Wait List, Gets Boost from Human Services Safety Net
Human Services Safety Net initiative will help maintain higher levels of enrollment in Child Care Assistance Program
Boulder County, Colo. - As has been the case for several years, the cost of child care continues to grow across the
community, as does the need for help paying for that care, but federal funding for payment support remains flat. In order to continue with higher levels of enrollment in the Child Care
Assistance Program (CCAP), Boulder County is moving to reinstate a wait list
for new applications beginning June 1. The Human Services Safety Net (HSSN) property tax mill levy, passed by Boulder County voters in 2010 and extended for 15 years in 2014, will help fill additional gaps in CCAP funding going forward.
Currently, nearly 1,100 children in Boulder County are enrolled in child care that is supported by the CCAP, which helps cover the cost of care for low-income parents who are working, looking for work, or pursuing an education. Over the past few years, Boulder County has invested more than $10 million of additional funding into CCAP beyond the federal and state dollars it receives for the program to help ensure more families have access to the help. It has been able to do so in part because additional funding not spent by other counties has been available to help fill the gaps.
Today, rising provider rates based on quality and a statewide increase in need for child care assistance make it less likely that this funding will be available in the years ahead.
“We know that quality early childhood education supports such as CCAP are some of the most important investments we can make to strengthen families and give young people in our community a crucial developmental boost,” said Boulder County CCAP Manager Terri Albohn. “Through additional investments from the Human Services Safety Net, we’ll be able to continue to serve many more children and families than current federal and state CCAP funding supports.”
The HSSN’s primary purpose is to help fill gaps in funding for Boulder County’s human services safety net, and it generates approximately $6 million each year in funding for such programs across Boulder County. As the waitlist is implemented, Boulder County will allocate HSSN funding to maintain higher levels of CCAP assistance. CCAP staff will work with providers to prioritize families as new openings occur in the program.
Boulder County will continue to maintain a qualifying threshold of 225% of the Federal Poverty Level for the Child Care Assistance Program. CCAP’s eligibility was expanded in Boulder County five years ago to ensure more low-income families have access to child care supports. CCAP will also continue to serve families and children involved with child welfare programs in Boulder County.
Additional information on the Child Care Assistance Program in Boulder County is available at www.BoulderCountyChildCare.org