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In February 2006, in preparation for developing a self-sufficiency program, Sarasota Housing Authority (SHA) surveyed its residents to find the most common barriers to self-sufficiency. One of the most common of these barriers identified was the ability to find affordable childcare. The SHA ROSS department went to work devising a method to assist our residents to overcome this barrier.
Through a partnership with local childcare agency, Children First, SHA opened an on-site childcare facility in June 2007. The facility provides care for the children of SHA residents who are working or attending qualified training for at least 20 hours per week. Residents who are not ROSS participants also use the daycare with the assistance of local childcare subsidy provider, Early Learning Coalition (ELC).
The ROSS Early Childhood Center provides drop in care for residents to attend training programs at no charge. Residents who complete SHA’s training program and find employment through may qualify for a limited childcare scholarship provided by Resident Services funds until ELC is able to provide subsidy.