I would like to start by expressing my gratitude to Christina Taylor for summarizing the state of childcare in our county. The data she included in her article published by BizWest is shocking and extremely concerning. When someone asks me what keeps you up at night? My answer is: What keeps me up at night is knowing that we live in an extraordinary place, with plenty of natural resources, in an area of continuous growth and business opportunities. However, these opportunities are not for everyone. Members of my community experience financial hardship and are struggling to secure resources. I don’t know if the statistics are the ones that impacted me the most or if it’s realizing that 10 of our families could lose care in our center due to the lack of economic support.

It is saddening to see that the pressure to solve these issues always falls on service providers. Due to the recent Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) freeze, we have launched the Growing Together fundraising campaign to increase our scholarship fund and ensure that families remain enrolled. The math is clear even for those who are not financial experts: 10% of the income for El Nidito comes from tuition payments but 40% of the annual budget is used to pay the wages of 21 teachers employed at our center. According to Larimer, Thrive by Five childcare centers would need to raise rates by 42% to pay a living wage to early childhood educators!

We have created the following figures to show how the cost of living is not enough to cover the cost of childcare:

Financial models of a dual income home with two kids in childcare 

Without CCAP:

Monthly Income:

  • Gross Earned Income (Minimum Wage Job): $3,000
  • SNAP Benefits (Food Stamps): $200
  • Total Gross Monthly Income: $3,200

Monthly Expenses:

  • Rent: $1,200
  • Utilities (Electricity, Water, Gas): $200
  • Groceries: $600
  • Childcare (Without CCAP): $3,200
  • Diapers/ Formula: $300
  • Miscellaneous (Clothing, Household Items, etc.): $450
  • Total Monthly Expenses: $5,950

Budget Shortfall: – $2,750

With El Nidito Scholarship Fund:

Monthly Income:

  • Gross Earned Income (Minimum Wage Job): $3,000
  • SNAP Benefits (Food Stamps): $200
  • Total Gross Monthly Income: $3,200

Monthly Expenses:

  • Rent: $1,200
  • Utilities (Electricity, Water, Gas): $200
  • Groceries: $600
  • Childcare: Covered by El Nidito Scholarship Fund
  • Diapers/ Formula: $300
  • Miscellaneous (Clothing, Household Items, etc.): $450
  • Total Monthly Expenses: $2,750

Budget Cushion: $450

We need local solutions and more resources to help us fulfill our commitment to supporting families who need it most, our mission cannot be accomplished if the youngest children do not have access to quality care and education. Operating an early education center comes with a very high cost and we rely on grants and the generosity from the community and donors. 

Our center has survived the pandemic, the post-pandemic, the inflation, and now we are seeing funding cuts, all under a political climate of uncertainty. We need to be aware that population growth projections in our county estimate that by 2050 there will be more than 490,000 inhabitants, this means that the demand for services will increase. To learn about the proposed solutions to the childcare crisis, visit https://larimerthrivebyfive.org/

You can act today by donating to our Growing Together campaign, by raising awareness in your community regarding the need for affordable childcare, and by speaking to your representatives about prioritizing funding for childcare providers.

With gratitude,

Gloria Kat

Executive Director, The Family Center/La Familia

gloria@thefamilycenterfc.org

Traducir »