Lawmakers in Tennessee have proposed a new scholarship program aimed at addressing the state’s childcare crisis. The “Promising Futures” program, which would be funded by tax revenue from Tennessee’s growing sports betting industry, would offer scholarships to low- and middle-income families to help them pay for quality child care.
The proposal comes after a 2022 study found that Tennessee businesses and taxpayers are losing $2.6 billion annually due to difficulties accessing childcare. According to the study, working parents with young children face problems with the affordability, quality, and accessibility of child care, which affects their ability to work.
Who is eligible for the Promising Futures scholarship program?
The Promising Futures scholarship program would begin in mid-2024 for children under 5 years old and would be managed by the state education department. Children would be eligible if their household income does not exceed the state’s median income, and children who live with a foster parent or legal guardian would also be eligible.
READ ALSO: WHO’S ELIGIBLE FOR $1,200 STIMULUS CHECKS FOR CHILDREN?
The program would be supported by Tennessee’s Sports Wagering Advisory Council, which collected more than $68 million in sports betting privilege taxes in 2022, compared to $40.6 million the previous year.
The proposed program is backed by Tennessee’s “Tennesseans for Quality Early Education,” which was formed to advocate for quality education and childcare from birth to third grade. The organization has over 30,000 members across Tennessee and has launched a website and petition to gain public support for the bill.
The group’s study found that 80% of working parents with children under 6 reported employment disruptions due to inadequate child care, with 26% quitting or being fired, 32% turning down a job offer or promotion, and 30% reducing their work hours.
In conclusion, the Promising Futures program aims to address Tennessee’s childcare crisis by providing scholarships to low- and middle-income families. The program would be funded by tax revenue from the state’s sports betting industry and would help families access quality child care. The proposed program is backed by Tennessee’s “Tennesseans for Quality Early Education” and seeks to improve the state’s workforce by preparing the workforce of tomorrow.
READ ALSO: $400 MONTHLY CHECKS FOR FAMILIES FROM $1.3 MILLION POT – SEE WHO QUALIFY