Grant funding for new in-home child care providers available | SteamboatToday.com

Grant funding for new in-home child care providers available

A new grant program will offer up to $5,000 for new in-home child care providers in Steamboat Springs. Information sessions about the program are scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday, March 4 and 6 p.m. Thursday, March 10 at Bud Werner Memorial Library.

— Residents interested in starting a home-based childcare facility can learn about accessing up to $5,000 in grant funding to get started during two information sessions in early March.

The Family Development Center's Child Care Network and First Impressions of Routt County's Family Child Care Home Capacity Building Project aim to increase accessibility and quality of childcare provided locally, particularly for children younger than 3.

Information sessions will take place at 9 a.m. Friday, March 4 and 6 p.m. Thursday, March 10 at the Bud Werner Memorial Library.

Steamboat Springs city officials announced in October they would invest $20,000 in the project, which would make it easier for people to start licensed, home-based child care centers. Those funds are in addition to up to $500 a provider can receive in county funds to become licensed.

During a recent community business survey, only 17 percent of respondents said access to affordable, quality child care and preschool programs in Steamboat was “good” or “excellent.”

"We know that child care is an important part of the puzzle as we grow our economy," said Gary Suiter, interim city manager. "This grant program enables us to support business development in multiple ways — by fostering five new home child care businesses in our community as well as providing reliable child care options for moms and dads that want to work outside the home."

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To take advantage of city funds, the provider must offer care Monday through Friday or five full days a week, offer care from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or for a full 10 hours, care for some children younger than 3 and care for at least two children younger than 2.

Participation in the project also connects providers with support and coaching from the Child Care Network through the licensing process and providers to receive higher reimbursement rates for families receiving some types of financial assistance. It also can provide tuition assistance for early childhood education courses and professional development.

To be eligible for the program, providers only need to attend one of the two information sessions, which will cover what makes a good home provider, the importance of getting licensed, how to get licensed and the local grant process.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

If you go:

What: Information sessions to learn about grant funding available for new home-based child care providers

When: 9 a.m. Friday, March 4 and 6 p.m. Thursday, March 10, only need to attend one session

Where: Bud Werner Memorial Library, meet at coffee shop

Information: Contact Sharon Butler, 970-879-7330