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Summit County adds 130K to Park City child care scholarship fund

Elijah Rollings, 2, plays with a train set at Bumble Art Studio day care center in Astoria, Ore., Friday, Sept. 2, 2022. In rural areas across the U.S., demand for child care far exceeds supply. Families are growing increasingly desperate as providers deal with staffing shortages exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic as well as historically low pay worsened by inflation.
Craig Mitchelldyer
FR170751 AP
Age, location and income restrictions have meant less than 10% of Park City's child care fund has been used up. The city's scholarship administrator expected the money to last at least through FY2025.

Summit County families formerly ineligible for Park City’s child care scholarship fund may soon qualify.

The Park City Council set aside $1 million to subsidize child care last year, and the Summit County Council separately budgeted $130,000 in recurring funding.

Park City decided to use its one-time allocation to set up a scholarship fund.

Instead of starting its own program, the county is adding its money to Park City’s, which will make similar scholarships available to county residents.

“The point of us joining the city's program was to try to capture those individuals who aren't eligible,” Deputy County Manager Janna Young told the county council May 15, “because they don't live in the city or they don't work in the city. They are still county residents—and so they're applying—but they're essentially being turned away.”

As of May 16, Park City had distributed less than 10% of its funds, per a city staff report. Of the 165 applications received, 23 households were approved.

That included two municipal employees, 12 Park City residents, 10 Park City workers and one household both living and working within city limits.

Most other applications were deemed “incomplete.” But 59 were denied, either because the household made too much money, the children were too old or the families lived and worked outside Park City limits.

To allocate its $130,000, Summit County is using similar criteria as the city and using the city’s scholarship administrator, Upwards.

County staff hope to launch this summer. It’s not clear if households need to reapply, but a Park City staff report indicates applications are retained in case income restrictions or household status change.

Eligible households cannot make more than the county’s median income, which was almost $150,000 for a family of four last year.

Once the program launches, the city and county plan to jointly advertise who can apply and how.

A few different scholarships are available, ranging from $200 to $1,700 per month.