As part of a grant application to Bloomberg Philanthropies, Danbury is looking to gauge interest in improving an urgent need in the City. Danbury would partner with the United Way of Western Connecticut to create 180 affordable childcare slots by establishing 60 family childcare centers.
Part of the Mayors Challenge is to communicate about the issue. 35 Champion Cities will be awarded up to $100,000. A grant award decision is expected by March.
The United Way has committed a $900,000 matching award over several years.
Danbury officials say with a poverty rate of 11-percent and another 24-percent who fall below a household survival budget, the issue affects 900 children between the ages of 0-3 living in households that struggle to make ends meet. There are currently 87 Care 4 Kids state-subsidized slots for infants and toddlers in Danbury. Due to the state's financial woes, there's been a 50-percent decrease in subsidies over the past year.
Head Start in Danbury had a waiting list of 300 children last year.