United Way’s Larimer Child Care Fund Launches New Scholarships

Child with lantern, photo courtesy of Pexels.

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United Way of Larimer County and the Early Childhood Council of Larimer County are offering a one-stop shop for local families to access both childcare providers and financial scholarships through the integration of the Larimer Child Care Fund and the Larimer Child Care Connect platform.  United Way will provide ongoing funding for the scholarships and $350,000 will be available during the current application process, which closes on April 25.  The site is mobile friendly and applications will be available in both English and Spanish.  Awards are determined on a first-come, first-served basis for all eligible applicants.

“Access to quality early child care directly intersects our key priority areas of youth and education and financial stability and is vital to a healthy community, stable workforce, and thriving economy,” said Deirdre Sullivan, President, and CEO of United Way of Larimer County. “The expansion of our Larimer Child Care Fund is our latest effort to not only provide financial support but also to help increase families’ choice in accessing affordable care in Larimer County.”

The average cost of center-based care for children ages 0-5 is nearly $1,200 per month per child in Larimer County, making this an issue that affects every family.  United Way’s expansion of the Larimer Child Care Fund supports families who do not currently receive or qualify for the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and still need assistance with the high cost of quality, licensed care for their children.  Scholarships will be paid directly to childcare providers on behalf of the family each month for one year with the opportunity for families to reapply annually. Scholarship recipients will be limited to paying up to 15% of their income on childcare. 

“The Fort Collins Area Chamber has had the honor of working alongside business and community partners to tackle the challenges of accessible and affordable childcare.  This is a tremendous step in the right direction to bridge the financial gap so many workers and their families face,” said Ann Hutchison, President & CEO of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce.  “We are thrilled to see the United Way take an important leadership role on this issue.”

Through generous community donations, United Way of Larimer County has more than quadrupled its investment in childcare access and affordability over the last five years. All donations made to the Larimer Child Care Fund are eligible for the Colorado Child Care Contribution Tax Credit. This credit allows individuals and businesses to claim a 50% state income tax credit for qualified contributions.

Visit uwaylc.orgChildcareFund to learn more, including how to apply for scholarships and donate to the fund.