The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced Monday increased funding for a federal child care voucher program.
$23 million was added to the federal child care voucher program, the Child Care Development Fund, which reimburses low income families in Indiana for child care costs. That’s the first increase to the program since 2007.
Day cares that participate in Indiana’s Paths to Quality ranking system are eligible for the money. The state currently ranks child care providers from one to four. At the low-end of the scale, programs meet all health and safety requirements. At the high-end, daycares are nationally-accredited.
Melanie Brizzi with the Bureau of Childcare says increased funding will give low-income families more options they can afford.
“We want to make sure that families receiving the vouchers can afford to go to the highest possible child care program,” Brizzi said.
Brizzi also said the additional money could entice child care providers to strive for higher ratings.
Deb Murzyn is the Executive Director of the Bloomington Developmental Learning Center, a level 3 center. She says six percent of her families use vouchers.
“Anything that helps children get preschool before they go on to school is a plus,” she said. “So I hope that more parents will be able to put their children in a preschool environment.”
The funding increase goes into effect next month. Families currently receiving vouchers will get more money, and new families will also be eligible for bigger payments.
- Meets minimum health and safety standards
- Provides a welcoming, nurturing and safe environment for physical, emotional and social well being of all children.
- Provides a variety of learning materials that reflect the age, interests and abilities of each child.
- Provides for children’s language and literacy skill development.
- Provides pertinent program information to families.
- Promotes staff development and training.
- Implement a planned curriculum that addresses the stages of child development.
- Demonstrates professional growth of Director and staff in excess of licensing requirements.
- Facilitate family and staff input into the program.
- Establish a strategic plan.
- May be working toward accreditation.
- Meets the highest standards for high quality care and education.
- Director agrees to assist other programs in quality improvement through volunteer mentoring.