As of 2014, the average annual cost of childcare was anywhere from $16 to $18 thousand per child in Pitkin County. City of Aspen’s Kids First Childcare Financial Aid helps families bear that cost. The deadline to apply for that aid is Friday, November 1.
To be eligible for the financial aid, families must work or live in Aspen’s urban growth boundary, which is the downtown area to just beyond the airport. Parents must work while the children are in daycare, and use a service within Pitkin County. The children in childcare must be five years or younger.
Cecelia Martin, the Kids First Financial Aid Coordinator, said there are about 38 families receiving aid. If families have more than one child and use daycare services five days a week, she said it can take a lot out of their monthly budget.
“They typically spend more than they would pay for their mortgage or rent,” Martin said.
According to the Kids First website, families are expected to pay between 12 and 22 percent of their gross income for childcare.
How much families receive monthly from the financial aid program is based on gross income, how many children in childcare, how many days a week they attend and the daily rate of the program.
To apply, visit the Kids First page at www.cityofaspen.com.