CHANGE FOR CHILDREN: Inskip provides child-care scholarships for struggling working parents

CHANGE FOR CHILDREN: Inskip provides child-care scholarships for struggling working parents

A scholarship fund that helps provide child care for families who might otherwise fall through the cracks received a boost with a $1,500 Change for Children grant.

The Roxie Davis Price Scholarship Fund was established in 2003 from a small amount of money from Price’s estate. That scholarship provides child care for children attending Partners for Children (PFC), a non-profit child development center at Inskip United Methodist Church, according to Cindy Dalton, center director. The church is in the Knoxville District.

“The families who are helped by the scholarship are low-income families,” Dalton said. “It picks up for families who can’t get help from anyone else.”

Dalton explained that the state provides certificates to qualifying low-income families to pay for child care. Eighteen percent of the 50 children attending receive scholarships, Dalton said.

Those 18 percent may make a little more money than the state guidelines allow. To receive a scholarship, they must be ineligible for any other financial child-care assistance yet eligible for free school lunches. They also cannot be receiving any other financial assistance for child care. In most cases, these parents have jobs but can't afford child care, Dalton said.

“Research shows that when parents are trying to transition from welfare to work -- or a family is trying to work and raise a family -- their biggest obstacle is quality and affordable child care,” she added. “That is what we try to make available: affordable, quality child care.”

Roxie Davis Price loved children and wanted to help those less fortunate. Before she died, she arranged for her estate to provide scholarships. Davis Price, known to all as "Aunt Roxie," was aunt to board member Lorraine Abbott. Without children of her own, Price was concerned about the problems faced by families in supporting and caring for their children, according to a Partners for Children newsletter. Price died in December 2002 at the age of 98. Since 2003, 40 families have received assistance from the fund.

“We can take nine children on the scholarship program.” Dalton said. “We may help more than that, but we have nine scholarships.”

If a child on scholarship leaves the child care, the scholarship can be reassigned to another child. The child care has a waiting list for families requesting assistance.