Case for Support

OUR IMPACT

Family Impact Fund is interrupting the cycle of poverty – empowering two generations at a time.  By providing tuition assistance to young children (birth – 5 yrs./Pre-K) from low-income families for high-quality (4 and 5 star-rated) early education and child care, our organization is allowing young children to have the potential for academic achievement in kindergarten and future grades, working parents to have the opportunity for job security and financial sustainability, and low-income families to experience upward economic mobility.

Our organization’s focus is on low-income families for whom a salary increase would position their household income over the maximum income eligibility level (the “benefits cliff”) of the Federal Child Care Subsidy Program (200% Federal Poverty Level), causing them to lose their child care benefit which could have devastating consequences on their family’s budget.  There is little incentive for these parents to work the extra hours, accept the job promotions or take the pay raises…with the looming risk of losing their child care.

For example, a family of four (two working parents, one infant and one school-age child):

  • Parent receives $0.25/hour ($43/month; $520/year)  pay raise
  • Household income exceeds eligibility to qualify for child care subsidy (over 200% Federal Poverty Level)
  • Child care subsidy is lost
  • Family’s child care costs escalate from an estimated $425 to $1,200 per month for one child
  • The small gain in income is not enough to cover the huge loss in benefits – the “benefits cliff”

Our board recognizes this dilemma and is committed to continue funding child care costs for families going over this “benefits cliff”.

Family Impact Fund is collaborating with the well-established, highly respected Child Care Resources, Inc.(CCRI) to administer our program.  CCRI is enrolling children from the following sources:

  • Families currently enrolled in Federal Child Care Subsidy Program whose income has surpassed the eligibility threshold at 200% FPL and their child care subsidy graduated phase-out period is exhausted.
  • Families that call CCRI inquiring about tuition assistance for child care and their income is over child care subsidy limits, but is between 200% – 300% FPL

Our organization will provide tuition assistance for high-quality child care until (whichever first):

  • Household income is over 300% Federal Poverty Level
  • Two years maximum per child
  • Four years maximum per family

This program provides incentive for parents to take a raise and continue on a viable path to work toward sustainable self-sufficiency.

 

Our Appeal

According to esteemed early childhood researcher, James J. Heckman, “high-quality, birth-to-five early childhood programs for disadvantaged children yields a 13% return on investment per child”, which directly translates to improved education, economic, health, and social outcomes.

Family Impact Fund needs your generous support to decrease both the “achievement gap” for economically disadvantaged children and the “opportunity gap” for their parents.   Together, we can impact the most vulnerable in our community – two generations at a time – and transform their lives forever!

 

The Research

Children who have a high quality early education and child care are more likely to:

  • be less stressed
  • be ready for kindergarten
  • be proficient readers in 3rd grade;
  • graduate from high school and be college or career ready
  • be independent of public assistance
  • be healthier
  • avoid incarceration

Parents who have full-time jobs are better able to:

  • be less stressed
  • have more job security
  • experience financial sustainability
  • have more potential for a job promotion
  • have more income to apply toward housing

Research supports that every dollar spent on high-quality early learning programs for low-income children delivers a 13% annual return on investment (ROI), reaping lifelong benefits for children, parents, families AND our community.

Reports for Reference

Charlotte Mecklenburg Economic Opportunity Task Force

Mecklenburg County Report – Creating Opportunity: An Action Plan for Early Childhood Education

Harvard – Center on the Developing Child