August is fast approaching and with that is the new school year, which includes preschool. Preschool and day care can be expensive, like really expensive. For some of us it can be half of what we are making. Luckily there are some programs on Maui that can help with this financial slap in the face. Good Beginnings – Maui County, co-ordinates out of the Maui County Early Childhood Resource Center found at 251, Napua St. in Wailuku. Their mission among others is to ensure that all of Hawaii’s children are safe, healthy and ready to succeed. With this mission in mind they co-ordinate the Maui County Child Care Subsidy Program. This program provides up to $200/month to help families pay for childcare at a DHS licensed family childcare provider or preschool. It applies to families with children from birth to 4 years of age who meet the income guidelines and who are working, in school or job training for at least 30 hours a week. Work requirements may be waived for retired grandparents raising grandchildren, or for families experiencing certain emergency situations. There is a gross income limit: a family of 2 can not make more than $3,815/month, a family of 3, $4,712/month or family of 4 more than $5,610/month, etc…
Maui County provides this subsidy so that parents who cannot be at home with their children (because they have to work, or who are experiencing challenges that make it difficult to care for them fulltime), have access to affordable and dependable high quality care options. High quality preschool and childcare gives children the boost they need to get ready for Kindergarten and teaches them that school can be fun! It helps them to learn how to get along with others and how to work as part of a group. Open enrollment is between June 15th and May 15th as long as funds are available. All applications received before July 16, 2012 will be considered in the first pool of applicants for aid starting the month of September…Thank-you Good Beginnings-Maui County for providing this service. $200 can make a big difference.
They also provide information about other subsidy providers and have a variety of resources that will help us parents understand and nurture our children’s development. As well as promoting preschool, they also provide other great tips on kindergarten transitions and how we can get our children ready for that big change. Some examples include taking the time to visit the school ahead of time, and walk around so your child knows where everything is located. They recommend getting your child into the new school routine two weeks prior. School can start at 7.45am! Putting them to bed early and getting them up in time to eat a healthy breakfast will help the morning rush and make it less stressful. They point out that your child needs to feel secure using the school restrooms too, so taking them to the rest rooms while you are visiting the school and introduce them more to public restrooms when you are away from home will help.
You can find more information by calling them at 242-1608, emailing them at email@example.com, or visiting the Maui County Early Childhood Resource Center at 251 Napua St. Wailuku.
Image Credit: Good Beginnings Alliance