Connect4Care Kids, the free, centralized resource designed to make it easier and less overwhelming for families with young children to find and understand options for early childhood education and care, has expanded across all of Wayne County.
“Especially as the world opens post-pandemic, access to early childhood learning and care is vital to helping children and families not only reacclimate, but thrive,” said Jeffrey D. Miles, Senior Director, Early Childhood Excellence, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “We know the benefits for early childhood learning on the child’s development and, as we’ve seen recently, it’s vital to parents returning to work. Connect4Care Kids is a comprehensive tool that will help parents match with care options. It empowers busy parents to search one site for care options from their phone in a matter of a few minutes.”
United Way for Southeastern Michigan and the City of Detroit launched Connect4Care Kids last year. The focus was originally on Detroit and is now being expanded throughout Wayne County as part of a regional growth strategy. While there has been a great deal of disruption in child care this past year, hundreds of parents and caregivers have used Connect4Care Kids to start the application process.
The platform streamlines the process of searching for and finding care options, particularly connecting to programs that help parents and caregivers with child care costs, including Early Head Start, Head Start, Great Start Readiness Program and Michigan’s Child Care and Development subsidy. Hosted on United Way’s website, Connect4Care Kids is another way for parents to connect to all of their early childhood services.
More than 60 percent of children ages 5 and younger in Wayne County live in households that qualify for some type of assistance with child care costs. General lack of awareness, out-of-date information, a complicated web of eligibility requirements and a confusing application process all contribute to parents and caregivers accessing the care they need for their young children.
Many families are unaware of the programs they may be eligible for. It can be difficult for parents and caregivers to know where to go for help. Connect4Care Kids is designed to help address this concern.
By visiting Connect4CareKids.org or texting KIDS to 42273, parents and caregivers can:
The application process is quick and easy to start. Parents and/or caregivers simply answer a few short questions about their family and the children they would like to sign up. Then, the information is sent to providers who connect with them about spots they may have open and complete enrollment.
Connect4Care Kids helps bridge the digital divide – easily accessible via text (SMS) and on mobile, as well as for those families with desktop computers. It also is available in Spanish and Arabic.
About United Way for Southeastern Michigan
United Way for Southeastern Michigan, a member of the United Way Worldwide network and an independently governed 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, works to help households become stable and ensure children have the support they need to thrive. For more than 100 years, United Way has been a leader in creating positive, measurable and sustainable change in communities throughout southeast Michigan. United Way works in partnership with donors, agencies, corporate and municipal partners to help families meet their basic needs of housing, food, health care and family finances, and ensure children start school ready to learn and graduate ready for life. To give, advocate, volunteer or learn more, visit UnitedWaySEM.org.
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