United Way program looks to help Wayne County parents find & pay for child care

child care costs
Posted at 5:18 AM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-29 05:48:31-04

(WXYZ) — The average Michigan family spends $10,000 a year on child care, and that's if you are able to find an opening.

Most families can't afford that. More than 60% of children ages 5 and younger in Wayne County qualify for some type of assistance with child care costs, but many families don't know it.

Various financial aid and subsidies come from various places, but it can be hard to find – until now.

A pilot program launched by the United Way with the City of Detroit has just expanded to all of Wayne County.

It's called Connect for Care Kids, and it's already changing lives for many.

"It was amazing because every school started calling me," Adrien Bell said.

She has two little girls in childcare and early education programs, and she said it feels like a dream come true.

Bell was able to participate in the Connect4Care Kids pilot program, created by the United Way with other partners. It launched in the City of Detroit last year - and just expanded to all of Wayne County this week.

"This really is a tool that is designed to really simplify that process for parents that brings everything into one website," Jeffery Miles said.

It includes the latest information on various financial aid and subsidies.

"We've seen these eligibility requirements change throughout the pandemic. Nobody has time to keep track of that algorithm," he added.

Parents just fill out a form on the website, tell them what you're looking for, your child's name and age, and then you're signed up.

In all, there are about 1,000 licensed child care facilities in Wayne County that represent about 50,000 slots.

"They made it very nice for me, I was able to put my baby is blue, and I can go do the things that I need to do, while they're in school," Bell said.

In addition to childcare, Connect4Care Kids provides you other tools to help your child.

There's a virtual literacy fair on Aug. 7, a literacy texting program and developmental screening.

There are child care spots available but the spots especially for fall are filling up fast, so go check it out soon. You can visit the website here.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.