Financial stability is the foundation that allows individuals and families to thrive. United Way of Larimer County believes in investing in programs that accelerate the economic mobility of all community members. As part of this commitment, our WomenGive program provides child care scholarships to single mothers pursuing higher education. Since 2006, WomenGive has awarded 849 scholarships, providing 411 children with quality, licensed care, and celebrating 128 recipients receiving their college degrees.
“WomenGive was started in 2006 by a group of community and nonprofit leaders who wanted to find a way to support single mothers in our community. Higher education is one of the determining factors of self-sufficiency and they identified the high cost of child care as one of the biggest barriers to pursuing this education,” says Lincoln Ell, Community Impact Manager at United Way of Larimer County.
The average cost of center-based child care for children ages 0-5 in Larimer County is over $1,300 per child, per month. For many families in our community, that cost is simply not possible. Last month we spoke with Liz Hahn, a preschool Director and WomenGive recipient, about why education is the key to breaking economic barriers in our community.
“Early childhood education is very important. It is the first step of going to school. I think if we didn’t have people in early childhood education, there would be a lot of children lost,” Hahn remarked.
“WomenGive helped me know that I had somebody on my side. I didn’t have to worry about child care. It gives parents a chance to do their schoolwork, go to class, and not have that worry of, ‘who’s going to care for my kids today’.”
WomenGive provides more than just financial support for child care. “The WomenGive program is a little unique because it’s not just a child care scholarship program, it’s really supporting these women in any type of way that they need,” said Ell. “It can be through encouragement letters we send every semester or just being that shoulder for them to lean on because a lot of outside forces are telling them they can’t achieve their dreams. WomenGive provides that avenue so they can.”
Learn more about WomenGive at: uwaylc.org/WomenGive and save the date for our annual WomenGive Luncheon at Embassy Suites Loveland on February 2, 2023 where we will celebrate our scholarship recipients, graduates, and how you can support this important work in our community.