COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – $10,000 toward child care expenses could be yours, but you have to act now.
Franklin County and the City of Columbus partnered to help families that need a boost.
The effort is funded through the American Rescue Plan, which started with $11.4 million with much of that money still available.
Funds are intended to help families face what’s known as a “benefits cliff” – making too much money to qualify for certain government benefits, but not enough to make it without assistance.
That’s where Franklin County RISE is helping families and childcare providers.
Love and marriage and the blending of their families came with a cost for the Williams family. Daycare for the youngest of eight children gets expensive.
“The program over and all has been a great experience and very helpful for me and mine because now I can work where I want to,” said mother Khristian Williams.
“Access to childcare is a key tool for families to participate in the economy, for businesses to be able to have the workers they need, and for our region, our economy to be able to thrive,” said Eric Karolak, CEO for Action for Children.
Through the efforts of Franklin County and Columbus, scholarships of up to $10,000 are available to help families offset childcare expenses, with that money being paid directly to providers.
“There’s a lot of people that are looking for a program like this that don’t know about it and there’s a lot of families out there struggling really bad,” said father James Williams.
The scholarship has helped lighten the load for the Williams, a couple who works eight to 12-hour shifts, sometimes overnight.
“Having to find childcare for multiple at all times an hour kind of limits the money that you bring in,” Khristian Williams said.
And that adds up.
“That helps them because they get to keep extra money in their pockets, they can have dependable childcare,” said childcare provider Rhonda West. “They don’t have to worry about their children while they are at work.”
West cares for the youngest Williams child. Childcare providers like her can apply for $1,000 signing bonuses to help recruit new employees.
But that’s not all.
“If you’re an early childhood worker and you’re having trouble paying for your rent, Franklin County RISE is offering emergency rent assistance,” Karolak said.
Action for Children said if you are a childcare provider having trouble covering your bills, Franklin County RISE can help with expenses.
To apply for childcare assistance, click here.
For more information about any of the RISE programs, click here.