Officials say Fayetteville’s childcare assistance program already proving popular, may need more funding – Fayetteville Flyer

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The city’s new child care program may need another round of funding.

The program is designed to provide monthly payment vouchers for families who are having difficulty paying for child care. If approved, applicants will be reimbursed their full monthly childcare costs for a period of no more than 12 months.

The City Council earlier this month approved a proposal to start the program using $500,000 of the $17.9 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds the city received.

Given the volume of applications already submitted, the council may need to allocate more ARPA money to the program in the coming months, officials said this week.

“I’ll be honest with you, I think this particular program needs more funding,” Mayor Leonard Jordan told council members at Tuesday’s City Council agenda-setting session. “We started with $500,000, but I think it will take more than that.”

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Paul Baker, the city’s chief financial officer, said about 150 requests for assistance have been received since the program began on Dec. 9.

Baker said city staff initially recommended allocating $500,000 to the program, but that was just an estimate.

“At the time, we didn’t know what to expect,” Baker said. “But apparently this program is going to be very popular and help solve a lot of problems for some of our citizens.”

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Fayetteville’s ARPA funds are being split into separate categories, with $6.9 million earmarked for city projects. The rest of the money is being spent on public programs and financial aid for non-profit organizations.

Baker said if all proposed ARPA-funded projects are approved, the city would be left with about $200,000 that could be earmarked for new or existing programs that need additional funding. Is.

About the child care program

Anyone who lives, works or attends school in Fayetteville is eligible to apply for the city’s child care assistance program. The applicant’s child or children must be enrolled in a state-licensed child care facility located within the city limits of Fayetteville.

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After approval, payments will be made directly to the child care facility.

(Source: City of Fayetteville)

One page on the city’s website includes a chart with eligibility information based on how many people live in a household. Households earning up to 80% of the Fayetteville median family income as defined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development are eligible for vouchers.

For example, a household of three with an annual income of less than $60,300 would qualify. A family of four would need to earn less than $66,950 to qualify.

For more information on how to apply, visit www.fayetteville-ar.gov/4248/Childcare-Assistance-Program or call 479-575-8260.

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