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Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

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As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Summit County initiative looks to ease childcare cost burden

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Wednesday, June 26, 2024   

Utah parents can expect to pay between $800 and $1,200 dollars a month for child care but a new program is expanding its reach into Summit County to help with affordability.

The nationwide child care network Upwards will offer need-based child care scholarships of up to $1,700 for preschoolers. The group is partnering with Summit County and Park City Municipal.

Starr Mastrodonato, program manager for Upwards, said to qualify, at least one parent must reside or work in Summit County, and the total family income cannot exceed 100% of the county's area median income. She pointed out removing barriers to child care also means parents can stay in the workforce.

"It really allowed them to make life decisions on, 'We both can continue to work and to contribute to our family,'" Mastrodonato explained. "And that obviously is just monumental in just overall well-being, not only for their household, their children. And it continues to help the economic workforce."

While cost is one factor, availability is another. Research shows no one county in Utah has the sufficient number of licensed care providers to meet demand. Summit County has the highest percentage of child care needs being met at 54%, according to Voices for Utah Children. Statewide, the number drops to 36%.

Mastrodonato explained expanding assistance to Summit County comes after their Park City pilot program was able to assist 34 working families and helped support 17 child care providers. For every child enrolled at a provider location, the provider receives an additional $300 per month. She added Upwards is excited to build on the program's success.

"We're hoping they take this model, to see how successful it has been," Mastrodonato noted. "And within six months, be able to identify that we can expand to reach more families."

Summit County scholarships and child care provider incentives became available earlier this month. They will be available on a first-come, first-served basis each month.


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