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Austin Program Offers Infant Daycare Incentive

June 11, 2019 07:06 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- It's been identified as one of Austin's unmet needs.

But a new program is offering an incentive to meet it.

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"Infants are really hard to place,” Sheri Dankert said. “That's been the greatest need we've found so far, so we wanted to make sure we were impacting that area specifically."

It's a service that's often in short supply in communities with young families. And Tiffany Arett found out just how short, when she went in search of daycare for her infant daughter: “I was unable to find any care for her."

“We've been hearing a wide variety of stories about how people are caring for their children, and a lot of times it might mean they're choosing not to work or they're choosing to have to work different shifts than their spouses and those sorts of things," said Dankert, a childcare taskforce member.

But in November, the Austin Housing Authority was notified by the Blandin Foundation that it had been awarded a grant to provide an incentive for people interested in becoming a licensed provider. And one of the criteria is that they must be licensed for infants.

"They'll have the opportunity to get up to $2,000 and if they are in business a year after they get their license, then they will have that loan forgiven," Dankert said.

"So I started purchasing all my things, the licensing fees and all that went into it, all the extra toys that go into having a daycare," Arett said. Now, she has become the first to get licensed under the program.

"As soon as my license was valid, I had a family get in touch with me,” she said. “And they're actually holding a spot for July first because there's just no where for infants to go."

Credits

Dan Conradt

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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