Education News

Fort Bend County Allocates $250K In Child Care Assistance For Families Impacted By COVID-19

Families who qualify will receive a voucher valued at $500 per child.

More than 600 children attend pre-kindergarten through first grade at Neff Early Learning Center. It is a rare school in Texas because the entire campus follows an inclusive learning model.

Updated 2:19 p.m. CT

A new $250,000 child care voucher program in Fort Bend County will help support families impacted by the pandemic, county leaders announced on Monday.

The program will utilize CARES Act funding to provide some families a $500 voucher per child.

Families will be limited to up to three vouchers in total, and will be able to use the vouchers at more than 180 licensed child care facilities in Fort Bend County, according to Fort Bend County Judge KP George.

George added that the county is planning to allocate additional money to the program once more funds are available.

“This is becoming a very popular program for (one) simple reason,” he said. “It gives the freedom for our parents to go back to work.”

To qualify, families must meet specific criteria, such as:

  • Must be a Fort Bend County resident at the time of application
  • Child must be under 13 years of age
  • Income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19
  • Meet the Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) level criteria: 80% of the 2019 LMI income levels

Those who want to apply can do so at coronavirusfortbend.gov.

Mandi Kimball, vice president of child advocacy group Children at Risk, said programs that provide child care assistance can help alleviate potential financial and emotional stress.

"Finding child care for your children is extremely stressful," she said. "What Fort Bend County has done is really relieve some of the financial stress, but also emotional stress that parents have when trying to make the right decision for their children."

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