Programs for Parents Helps Families Get Affordable Childcare
As a part of the "Right from the Start NJ" series, Steve Adubato goes one-on-one with Beverly Lynn, CEO of Programs for Parents, to discuss the ways in which her organization connects families to affordable childcare facilities.
"We are pleased to be joined by our good friend Beverly Lynn, CEO, Programs for Parents, which is? Tell folks. Programs for Parents, is a child care resource and referral agency here in Essex County, and we have sister agencies in every county in New Jersey. And we all do pretty much the same thing, is making sure that families have access to child care subsidies. They would come to our office, parents who are working, or in school, and needed child care, to find out whether they're eligible for child care subsidies. And those subsidies help pay the cost of child care. So let's break this down a little bit. You've been part of our Right From the Start NJ series, our public awareness campaign, and by the way, go on our website right now, get important information on that site, Right From the Start NJ, you'll see it on your screen. It's got articles, research, resources, and by the way, your organizations are going be tied to that as well. What do we mean by finding out about the child care subsidy? What is it? Why does it matter? And why wouldn't people somehow know about it? Well unfortunately, people have children and they're just not aware. They know at some point they need child care, if they're working or in school, but they don't know how to go about looking for it. What's the subsidy? This child care subsidy is actually a dollar amount that they're eligible for if they meet the eligibility criteria. From whom? From the state of New Jersey. It's all funded by federal dollars through the state. So it's through Washington, D.C., sends dollars to the state in the form of this thing called a child care subsidy? That's correct. It's called a Child Care Development Block Grant. Say it again? Child Care Development Block Grant. It's a block of money? Yes. How does it get distributed? It's distributed based on some allocations that the state makes, and of course Essex is the largest county in the state, and so we probably get a higher proportion than other counties based on the income and some other demographic information. So we're serving about 10,000 children in... Sure. ...Essex County. How does it help them? How does a subsidy, this child care subsidy, actually help a family? And those children, you know, it's birth to three, get what they need? Well there are two parts to it. One is helping parents pay for child care. So wherever you go, you're going to have to pay, unless you're going to a Head Start agency. And so when parents look at that cost, it could typically be..."