LAKELAND, Fla. - The price of child care is so high, many parents say it makes more sense to stay home rather than going out and getting a job.
The Early Learning Coalition of Polk County, like many of its counterparts around the state, wants to change that.
The coalition is willing to pay up to $200 a week towards a family’s child care bill, as long as they meet certain requirements.
"To qualify, you have to be 150% of the federal poverty level," explained Diane Bowman, a vice president at the coalition.
Payments are based on a sliding scale that takes into consideration income and the number of children in care.
Polk County’s coalition is already helping 6,000 families, but the organization says there is more money up for grabs.
Gabrielle Parrish gets $70 a week to help pay for her son, Zion’s care at All Aboard Learning Center in Lakeland.
"Just apply and see what happens. You might be on a waiting list," but Parrish says you’ll probably eventually get help.
To learn more about the Early Learning Coalition of Polk County or other programs that provide similar services around the Tampa Bay area, visit https://www.elcpolk.org/.