Child care providers in Fort Bend County are surprised how many are not taking advantage of the help.

RICHMOND, Texas (KTRK) — After adding millions of dollars to childcare relief, service providers were surprised how many parents weren’t taking advantage of the program.

There are a number of programs to help Fort Bend County neighbors, from the COVID-19 relief bill passed in DC to rent, small business and childcare. But some are wondering, where are the applicants?

Kids R Kids CEO Arun Singh said: “There is a good and a bad thing.

Singh runs the Kids R Kids nursery in Rosenberg. He joined county leaders in October when $2 million was added to the childcare voucher program.

“We thought it was going to be more widespread,” recalls Singh. “Not many people will be able to take advantage of it. Somehow I don’t know if the criteria are too strict or people don’t know about it.”

More than 700 children have received vouchers, but still more than 1 million USD.

It is very confusing for business owners that there is so much help you can get. Per child, the county program gives families $500. It’s up to three children, which means families can get $1,500. It’s also not just a month. Families can get help for up to three months, which means if they have three children, they can get $4,500 in support.

County commissioners have a update about other COVID relief programs on Tuesday. With the rent and mortgage program, $42.5 million has been allocated, helping 9,080 families.

There is also a small business program in which $48 million has been allocated, helping 2,962 businesses and protecting 14,000 jobs. With the childcare voucher program, $715,000 was distributed and helped 737 children.

County leaders hope to get more help to neighbors soon. They plan to roll out new websites and dashboards where neighbors can learn about programs.

“At the beginning of the year, you’ll see all the transparency of all the programs you run so that anyone in the county can see these metrics,” said MPACT Strategic Consulting president Spurgeon Robinson explained to county commissioners during Tuesday’s meeting.

The county plans to partner with nonprofits by 2022 to reach more people. Singh said he has to educate customers about the program and let them know if they need support it’s okay.

“People shouldn’t assume,” Singh said. “There’s no harm in that. There’s no shame about that part. Just go and ask for it.”

The programs, which kicked off nearly two years ago, will still go into effect in 2022 as neighboring countries recover from the pandemic.

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Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. Copyright Registered. Child care providers in Fort Bend County are surprised how many are not taking advantage of the help.

Dais Johnston

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