Help Us Raise $45,000 for 2019
Looking ahead to 2019, we find ourselves falling woefully short in serving one community need. Our scholarship funds are dangerously low. Due to an award reduction from two funding sources, we are unable to provide child care tuition assistance to many families in need. To put this funding cut in perspective, last year with funds from these sources, we were able to assist 32 families. This year, we can only offer those funds to 9. We have 9 more families on our waiting list for scholarship funds, and we can expect more applicants, more families in need, throughout the coming year.
To understand why child care tuition assistance is so necessary, first let’s look at how much child care costs. Locally, the average yearly cost of care for an infant is $12,376. Care for a toddler is $10,758, and $9,382 for a preschool child. It is worthy of note that childcare in Douglas County is more costly than a year’s in-state tuition at KU.
To understand why child care tuition assistance is so necessary, next, let’s look at why quality child care is important. Quality care is regular and reliable. When care is not consistent or adequately trained or enriching, a parent’s work life suffers. Getting and keeping a job may be a constant stress. In a quality care situation, a child will receive the social and academic enrichment he needs to be ready to enter kindergarten. For a child living in trauma or a stressful environment, the predictability and support of a quality childcare setting can build resiliency that will foster life-long success.
On our waiting list, we have Jennifer and her three year old son. Jennifer is a newly single mother. She receives no child support from her child’s father. She also does not qualify for DCF assistance. As a nursing student and the primary caregiver for her son, Jennifer is employed, but her schedule does not allow her to work enough hours to satisfy the work hours required to qualify for DCF. Jennifer makes less than $13,000 per year. Care for her three year old son will cost $10,758; 82% of Jennifer’s income.
Also on our waiting list, we have Dawn. Dawn has one son, Josh, four years old. She too is a single mother. Dawn receives no child support because her child’s father is incarcerated. Dawn is employed, earning under $16,000 per year. She previously received child care assistance from us, and was able to put her child in care while she worked. This year, we are unable to assist Dawn, and she may have to resort to her previous child care arrangement of leaving Josh with her mother. Dawn’s mother, Janet, admits to feeling physically and mentally unable to care for Josh. Janet feels that Josh needs to be playing with other children. Mental health experts agree with Janet’s assessment, and add that Josh will be best prepared to be successful in school, and later, if he can attend a quality care center that is equipped to address the traumas he has encountered in his young life, and to help him develop the social and emotional skills that his mother and grandmother alone cannot provide. But, at $9,382, childcare for Josh is 59% of Dawn’s income.
To help deserving Douglas County families afford high quality early childhood education, we’ve set a goal of raising $45,000. Your contribution can move us toward that goal. Whether it’s $50 or $5,000, your contribution could support Jennifer and Dawn and other families like theirs. Please consider making a donation today. Send checks made to Positive Bright Start by mail to 1900 Delaware St, Lawrence KS 66046, or donate via PayPal with the button below.