Wait time for subsidized child care in Pasco and Hernando counties: none.
The Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties this week announced there is currently no wait list for school readiness services, also known as subsidized child care, for low- and moderate-income families.
School readiness funds pay a portion of child care costs so parents may seek and maintain employment to support their families or attend school.
Last year, as many as 1,800 children were on the waiting list for school readiness services. The coalition has shrunk the list through efforts such as ending services to school-age kids. Executive director Jim Farrelly also said that the agency keeps its administrative costs at about 2 percent.
"We're probably the lowest in the state," he said. That frees up more money for child care slots.
The Early Learning Coalition is accepting scheduling appointments and encouraging families in Pasco and Hernando counties to apply for assistance. Eligibility is determined by comparing federal poverty guidelines to both family size and income. Families may earn no more than 150 percent of the federal poverty level upon initial eligibility. As an example, a Pasco or Hernando family of four may be eligible for subsidy if family earnings do not exceed $35,325 annually. Families that think they might be eligible for assistance may call or visit one of the coalition's three offices in east and west Pasco and Brooksville for an appointment:
Brooksville: 26 S Brooksville Ave., (352) 754-5068; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Dade City: Dade City Business Center, 15000 U.S. 301, (352) 834-0052; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday. Thursday, Friday; 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday.
New Port Richey:, 7334 Little Road, Suite 102, Courtyard Commons, (727) 569-1004; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday.
For more information about program eligibility requirements, visit phelc.org/schoolreadiness.php or call (727) 233-8291.