A child care scholarship program was launched this week to assist qualified workers at Sky Harbor Airport.
The Airport Worker Child Care Scholarship Program will be an added beneifit for workers in the aviation industry, which has been challenged for more than two years by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a city release.
“As a working mother, I know that ensuring your child has a vibrant, caring environment during the workday is paramount," said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.
“This investment in our airport team members in need can be life-changing. By supporting workers, airport operations, business concessions and families thrive."
The program was made possible through a $4 million investment by the Phoenix City Council, as part of the city's American Rescue Plan Act strategic plan, according to the release.
A focus of the ARPA strategic plan is to support people, neighborhoods and businesses struggling due to the economic effects they faced from COVID-19.
Scholarships are available to Phoenix Sky Harbor badged workers who meet certain income criteria, including Aviation Department employees, airline employees, concessions workers and contractors.
To manage the program, the Aviation Department has entered into an intergovernmental agreement with First Things First, the statewide organization that works on expanding early education and family support programs for children from birth to 5 years.
“Now, staff at Sky Harbor International Airport will have safe, nurturing care settings to take their children while they work. In turn, their children will have access to quality early learning environments that will prepare them for success in kindergarten and beyond," said Melinda Gulick, CEO of First Things First.
“We applaud the City of Phoenix for joining other local governments – like Tempe, Flagstaff and Pima County – in investing in quality child care to support both the workforce of today and the workforce of tomorrow."
As part of the scholarship program, The Valley of the Sun United Way – under contract with First Things First - will manage the application process, including conducting eligibility verification for the program, according to the city.
Information on program eligibility criteria, how to find eligible child care facilities, the paperwork that is necessary to complete the application and a link to the application portal is available at www.vsuw.org/PHXSkyHarbor.
All applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, and will require all documentation to be complete to be processed.