Finding quality childcare can be a challenge for families in Austin, Arkansas, especially those with limited financial resources. Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to help parents and guardians access high-quality early education for their children. Child Care Aware of Arkansas is a great place to start. This organization provides support and guidance to families looking for daycare in their community, as well as information on licensing and safety.
Additionally, the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) is available to low-income families. This program is funded by the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) and managed by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In Arkansas, the Department of Human Services and the Office of Early Childhood are responsible for administering the CCAP. We partner with community child development centers in the greater Austin area to provide high-quality preschool education and resources that help them improve and maintain quality services for children. For children under 3 years of age from low-income homes, parents can participate in home visits or research-based educational programs. For children under 6 years of age from low-income homes, they can attend high-quality early education centers. The CCDF grants are designed to promote equal access to quality childcare, and parents can file complaints through a hotline or contact local resource and referral agencies or other community supports that help them find and enroll in quality child care. To further support early childhood education in Austin, United Way for Greater Austin and E3 Alliance created Early Matters Greater Austin, a group of business leaders committed to strengthening early childhood education. Early Matters Greater Austin advocates for local and state policies and funding to increase high-quality early education, promotes family-friendly work practices to support young children and families, and promotes innovative solutions to access and affordability challenges in the early education sector.
They also work to increase investments in early childhood education, philanthropy, philanthropic initiatives, and educational technology. If a child is between 3 and 21 years of age, the provider should contact the Special Education Unit of the Arkansas Department of Education for help.