More Fresno County families to get help paying for child care

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The numbers will increase because Fresno County will be able to keep $13 million in funding it has been returning to the state. (KFSN)

Families of nearly 14,000 Fresno County children receive some form of government help in paying for child care. Because of action by the Board of Supervisors, the numbers will increase because the county will be able to keep millions it has been returning to the state.

Lupe Jamie, director of Early Care and Education for the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools told the board a lot of money was not being spent.

"In the last couple of years, we have been returning about 15% of our subsidy dollars which means it equates to about $13 million and 1,300 children."

The money had to be returned because of the states outdated income guidelines kept families from qualifying for assistance.

Matilda Soria, who coordinates the Fresno County Child Care and Development Local Planning Council says the goal is to help more families pay for childcare.

"Simply put the bill will allow us to serve more children of low income working families."

The program, authorized by legislation pushed by Democratic Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula and Republican State Senator Andy Vidak allows families who make more money to qualify for help. unanimously approved Supervisor Nathan Magsig applauded the effort.

"So I can appreciate going from 70% of state median income to 85% and you've got an aye vote out of me."

The boost raises the allowable income for a subsidy to 71 thousand dollars a y ear for a family of four. Michelle Cantwell-Copher, of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools office said'

"It's a big deal it will mean the difference for 13 hundred young children to be receiving high quality child care services."

The change is expected to go into effect on July 1st. Families who want to qualify for subsidized child care should contact the Children Services Network, or call FIND Care at 559 456-8195.
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