Low-income El Paso County parents who are newly applying for the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) will need to go on a wait list due to a shortage of funding for the state-subsidized program.
Though it has implemented cost-saving strategies for three years to delay the move, El Paso County joins 12 other counties that have implemented wait lists.
County Human Services Executive Director Julie Krow says she hopes the Colorado Department of Human Services will ask for supplemental funding from the Legislature's Joint Budget Committee, saying the program is underfunded and the county can't make up the difference due to other priorities, such as child protection services.
CCCAP helps pay for child care for 3,249 kids in the county. To qualify, parents must be low-income and either be working or teens enrolled in high school.
In March 2017, the county made parents in other educational programs or those looking for jobs ineligible for CCCAP.
While those who apply for the program, which is meant to help parents reach self-sufficiency, may not get help immediately, the county asks that all those in need apply, as a long wait list will demonstrate the true extent of the need for funding to the state Legislature.