Boost Child Care Initiative:
Two-generation Scholarships & Advocacy

Quality Care for Children’s Boost Child Care Initiative increases access to quality child care for low-income families by providing financial scholarships paid directly to the child care program. It focuses on two generations, parents and children, and employs two strategies, direct service and policy change, to help low-income parents and their children be successful now and in the future.  The outcomes and testimonials of providing high-quality child care through Boost informs and strengthens QCC’s advocacy efforts to improve child care subsidy policies for families and increase state funding. This dual strategy of direct service and advocacy helps to improve and sustain a high-quality early learning environment in Georgia.

The Boost Initiative is working to make the child care subsidy work better for children and families by

  1. Eliminating the Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) gap in subsidy eligibility,

  2. Extending subsidy eligibility to college student parents, and

  3. Increasing the state’s investment in child care subsidies so that Georgia has the workforce it needs to be successful now and in the future.


COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP

The Boost Initiative is a collaborative initiative led by Quality Care for Children in partnership with early learning advocates, policymakers, government officials, higher education institutions, and funders. Current funding partners include : Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, James M. Cox Foundation, Cobb EMC, Coweta-Fayette EMC, Betty & Davis Fitzgerald Foundation, J.B. Fuqua Foundation, Goizueta Foundation, Greystone Power, Harland Charitable Foundation, Naserian Foundation, Peach State Health Plan, PNC Foundation, UPS Foundation, Walton EMC, Waterfall Foundation, Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation, and Zeist Foundation.


CAMPAIGN CABINET
Jen Bennecke, Chair
Lauren Alexander
Stuart Alston
Kathy B. Ashe
Jerry Boerner
Kathy Bremer
Margaret Connelly
Steven Koura



Cynthia Kuhlman
Michelle Matthews
Carol Meadows
Surishtha (Sue) Sehgal
Antonio Robinson
Ellen Sacchi
Brant Suddath
Stayce Wagner


SENIOR ADVISORY CABINET
Stephanie Blank
Ann Cramer
Gail Hayes
Judy Langford
Margaret Reiser
Nancy Brumley Robitaille


ELIMINATING THE CAPS GAP

Until October 1, 2016, a low-income working family in Georgia who received a child care subsidy found their path out of poverty hindered by the very program designed to help them. These low-income families faced a dilemma – one choice threatened their livelihood and the other threatened their access to quality child care. When they received a small increase in income (above 50% SMI), they lost their subsidy completely. QCC’s Boost Initiative addressed this gap by

  • Assisting low-income working families in Georgia who lose their child care subsidy due to increased earning, but still make less than the federal child care subsidy income limit and cannot afford quality child care, and

  • Advocating so that Georgia increases the income eligibility for the child care subsidy from 75% of state median income for a family of four ($51,336) to the federal limit of 85% ($58,176)

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Interview with Boost participant about the high cost of care.

I couldn’t afford to work, and I couldn’t afford not to work. I didn’t want to have to choose between paying for child care and paying for food. But I wanted more than just a babysitter. I want my girls to have individual attention. I want them safe. I want them to learn. I want someone to be accountable if something happens, and I want to be comfortable where I leave my kids, and not worry about them while I’m at work.
— Monyatta Carter, Boost participant

MAKING COLLEGE POSSIBLE

Lack of affordable child care is a major barrier to college completion for low-income college students who cannot afford quality child care and are not eligible for a state child care subsidy. Georgia is one of only eight states where these parents are ineligible for the child care subsidy. Young parents who have found a way to pay for and attend college, usually through a combination of grant awards, loans and part-time work, face this major challenge to college completion. Low-income student parents who cannot afford quality child care but want to remain in school for the sake of their and their children’s futures, frequently use informal care arrangements.

Informal care can be unreliable and not only a barrier to the parent’s college completion, but it also leaves their young children ill-prepared for success in school. QCC has partnered with Clayton State University, Columbus State University, Georgia Southern University - Armstrong Campus, and Savannah State University to pilot its Boost Initiative to help student parents afford high-quality child care. QCC’s Boost Initiative addresses this challenge of access by

  • Assisting low-income college student parents who cannot afford quality child care but do not receive a child care subsidy in Georgia, and

  • Advocating for Georgia to change its policy to allow low-income college student parents to receive a child care subsidy.

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View more videos from Boost parents about how the scholarship has changed their lives. 

We were looking at daycare options, and it was $300 dollars for twin boys so there was no way that we could pay for it. My only option was dropping out of nursing school because there was no way we could afford it since we were only getting $550 a week from my husband’s job. It was really stressful and it has helped a lot with the Boost program.
— Student Receiving Boost Scholarship
This program is a blessing to my life. It has enabled me to succeed and focus on my studies without having to worry about working extra hours to pay for child care. I am very grateful for this program, as it allows others that I can trust to care for my child’s basic needs during the daytime while I further my education.
— Student Receiving Boost Scholarship

HOW TO SUPPORT & GET INVOLVED

There are many opportunities to support Quality Care for Children’s Boost Initiative and advocacy efforts to increase access to high-quality child care in Georgia.  To make a pledge or gift online, please click here. To learn more about Boost and how you can help, please contact Robin Kirby, VP of Development and Marketing, at robin.kirby@qccga.org or 404-479-4202.

Make your gift to support a Boost Child Care Scholarship:


PRESS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

Recent Events

  • In May 2018, QCC hosted its first annual "Early Start Breakfast" event which raised more than $90,000 to support the Boost program. The event featured a keynote address from Alicia Philipp, President of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, and 2018 Early Learning Advocate Award presentation to Jen Bennecke. We were also honored to hear directly from two Boost Scholarship recipients from Clayton State and Columbus State about the challenges of being a full-time student and parent of young children. View pictures from the event.

  • In October 2017, Clayton State University hosted a Boost Brunch for student parents receiving scholarships and their families. The event featured a panel of Boost participants who spoke about the critical need and opportunity for access to high-quality child care and a keynote address from the University President, Dr. Thomas J. “Tim” Hynes, Jr. View pictures from the event.

  • In April 2017, QCC brought together nearly 100 stakeholders at its Boost Luncheon to discuss the role of quality child care access in meeting Georgia’s workforce needs. The event featured keynote remarks by Governor Nathan Deal and a panel moderated by Stephanie Blank that included: Ben Hames, Deputy Commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Workforce Division; Dr. Thomas J. “Tim” Hynes, Jr., President, Clayton State University; and Katie Kirkpatrick, Chief Policy Officer, Metro Atlanta Chamber. View pictures from the event.