Eligible Oakland County residents who are working or enrolled in a qualified post-secondary education or credential program and are struggling to pay for childcare can now apply for a scholarship to help cover a portion of this expense.
The Oakland County Childcare Scholarship Program, funded by the American Rescue Plan, is being administered by Oakland County Michigan Works! Each scholarship is worth $1,200 and will be available to the first 1,000 eligible families that apply at an Oakland County Michigan Works! service center. The childcare services must be provided by a licensed childcare facility.
To apply for the Childcare Scholarship, go to https://forms.oakgov.com/194.
According to a study conducted by the Center for American Progress in September 2020, the average monthly cost for center-based childcare in Michigan had increased by 61 percent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, to $1,251 per child. Nationally, childcare costs have risen an average of 47 percent during this time.
“We know one of the greatest obstacles for people returning to work during the COVID-19 pandemic is affordable childcare,” said Oakland County Executive David Coulter. “This scholarship program is designed to make it a little easier for struggling families to make sure their children are cared for by reliable licensed providers.”
Coulter added the childcare scholarship program helps support Oakland80, one of Oakland County’s key priorities – to have 80 percent of eligible county residents obtaining an advanced degree or credential by 2030.
Oakland County Michigan Works! service centers will determine whether an individual is eligible for the childcare scholarship. Criteria include:
Oakland County resident Returning to work or pursuing a post-secondary degree or credential Impacted by COVID-19 Either 300 percent of the US Federal Poverty level or eligible for specific program support. In some cases, the individual must also be housing insecure, food insecure or unemployed.
“Oakland County families have been through a lot during the past year,” said Jennifer Llewellyn, director, Oakland County Michigan Works! “We know access to affordable childcare can be a challenge as we emerge from the pandemic. The process for applying for the scholarship is easy and our team will help you gather all of the necessary information for submitting.”
For more information on the Oakland County Childcare Scholarship program, visit www.oaklandcountymiworks.com.
Oakland County Michigan Works! operates service centers in Novi, Oak Park, Pontiac, Southfield, Troy and Waterford. Combined, they assist more than 105,000 job seekers annually. Services include career coaching, interviewing and job search workshops, placement assistance, training courses and job trend information.
The service centers also assist more than 3,000 employers seeking assistance with talent recruitment, apprenticeship programs, job fairs, candidate pre-screening, hiring and training support, layoff support and labor market data.
Service center staffs remain available by appointment to work one-on-one with job seekers to build their resumes, prepare for job interviews and help address other needs. To schedule a meeting, call 1-248-858-5520 and select the office nearest to you. The service centers are hosting several virtual workshops for job seekers. A schedule can be found at www.OaklandCountyMIWorks.com.