Fort Bend County launches childcare initiative to help local families

MISSOURI CITY, Texas – Fort Bend County has launched a childcare initiative to help local families.

Fort Bend County Judge K.P. George said that childcare has been an ongoing challenge that many families are facing in the midst of a pandemic. He said that a child care task force was formed in the county several months ago and tasked with the job to come up with solutions to help families facing this challenge.

On Wednesday morning, the county announced a new partnership with the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and other private licensed child care facilities. The initiative will provide financial support through the Cares Act for families in need of child care.

“My hours were reduced and my husband was furloughed. It was such a blessing that came around the same time he had to go back to work,” said mom of two Abilene Williams.

Mom of three, Zipciriah Washington, was so happy when she found out her family qualified for the free YMCA childcare assistance program too.

“It’s been the biggest help it could possibly be,” said Zipciriah Washington.

“It’s really helpful. It’s such a helpful program and I’ve told as many people as I possibly could,” added Washington.

Over at the Boys and Girls Club, more families using the program, helping them slowly get back to work and get back to normal.

“I don’t have to worry about leaving them at home or canceling appointments or anything like that,” said mom Kaylin Riggins.

Families do have to qualify to get free or reduced childcare.

Some qualifications include:

-Must live in Fort Bend County

-Are you considered an essential worker?

-Are you experiencing financial hardship due to COVID?

-Is your annual household income below $60,000?

But officials say there is plenty of funding and a lot of room left to fill in these programs, they are urging families to apply to see if they qualify.

“That way parents are not trying to stress and figure out what they are not going to pay this month so that way they can send their kid to childcare.,” says Larry Taylor with the YMCA of Greater Houston.

“We’re working to bridge the technology divide between those who have the devices, those who have internet access and overall the bridging that will need to take place on a learning curve,” says Kevin Hattery, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston.

The deadline for this program is December 31, 2020.

For childcare assistance information at the YMCA of Greater Houston, click here-https://www.ymcahouston.org/child-care-assistance

For childcare assistance information at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston, click here—https://www.bgcghprograms.com/caresact

For more information on the Fort Bend County initiative and a list of participating daycares, click here-- https://www.coronavirusfortbend.gov/community-resources/childcare-resources/

George said that initiative is a three-pronged approach with will include financial help as well as education and tutoring resources. Families must apply online and meet certain qualifications.


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