Starting January 1, 2018, there will be a waitlist implemented for the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program, known as CCCAP. The waitlist will impact all new applicants in the CCCAP process.
Current CCCAP participants who continue to meet eligibility requirements will not be impacted by the waitlist approach. It is also critical for individuals to continue to apply for CCCAP even with the waitlist so the County can track the need for child care assistance in the region.
CCCAP provides subsidies to eligible low-income families, and helps families move toward self-sufficiency, but counties are not required to fund it beyond the allocation provided by the state. Sometimes difficult decisions must be made in order to continue to provide mandated services, such as child protection.
There is not sufficient funding from the state to support CCCAP in El Paso County at current levels, and other counties are also facing the same challenge. El Paso County DHS has found ways to avoid implementing a waitlist for about three years by utilizing cost savings strategies. However, continued insufficient funding for CCCAP can no longer be absorbed.
El Paso County joins 12 other counties in having a CCCAP waitlist policy, including Adams, Boulder Douglas and Jefferson counties. Each month, approximately 3,249 children in El Paso County receive CCCAP benefits.
“This is a regrettable decision, and El Paso County has put off this decision for as long as possible,” El Paso County Department of Human Services Executive Director Julie Krow said. “We will continue to work with the Colorado Department of Human Services, CCCAP providers and community partners to reach a solution as swiftly as possible. We are hopeful that CDHS will submit a supplemental funding request to the Joint Budget Committee and that they will approve it so that children in El Paso County can receive high-quality child care while their parents are working to become self-sufficient.”