ARPA - funded childcare support program moves forward

Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 12:12 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2023 at 1:38 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Harrisonburg City Council announced it would move forward with its child-care support program by hosting a public information session.

The program is one of the 21 local projects the city is funding through the American Rescue Act, which gave Harrisonburg a grant of $23.8 million.

In December of 2022, the city council voted to set aside $600,000 to support childcare services in the community after a survey among residents found a strong need for childcare support in Harrisonburg.

However, there is a much deeper issue. Childcare services, as well as information about available resources, is not easily accessible in the Friendly City, especially for low-income families. Since Harrisonburg is a designated refugee resettlement area, language barriers make it even more difficult for people to remain informed about available resources and childcare services.

Mike Parks, Director of Communications for the Harrisonburg City Council, hopes to improve accessibility.

”We want to make sure that everything we do, you can access, no matter who you are in Harrisonburg. And that you feel comfortable doing so, because that’s a key part. Not just that it’s available, but that you feel comfortable and accommodated, and that you can get whatever you need to when you interact with the city of Harrisonburg”

Parks said the city council provides services in multiple languages. The program’s informational seminar will take place at 6:30 on October 9th in the Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center.

At the seminar, the city council hopes to make childcare more accessible by supporting providers and offering potential funding opportunities.