Breckenridge, Frisco town governments partner on child care assistance program |

Breckenridge, Frisco town governments partner on child care assistance program

Breckenridge Town Council approved an agreement to help Frisco operate its tuition-assistance program

Summit County Preschool is pictured Jan. 8 in Frisco. A new partnership between Breckenridge and Frisco town governments will support a tuition-assistance program for families in the Tenmile Basin.
Tripp Fay/For the Summit Daily News

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct and clarify details about Frisco’s tuition-assistance program.

A new agreement will allow Breckenridge town government employees to help Frisco operate its new child care tuition-assistance program.

Breckenridge Town Council unanimously voted to approve a resolution, which establishes an intergovernmental agreement between the two towns, at its meeting Tuesday, Feb. 22. The agreement will help Frisco launch its own version of Breckenridge’s child care tuition-assistance program by March 1, said Corrie Burr, housing program manager with Breckenridge’s child care and community development department.

In January, Frisco Town Council approved the program after hearing from community members that child care has become an expensive burden on families. Both programs set aside a portion of town funds to help cover the costs of tuition for families that make less than 150% of the area median income.

Those families are required to spend only 13% to 16% of their income on child care. In January, the Breckenridge Town Council temporarily reduced that rate to 10% to 13% to help families affected by frequent COVID-19 quarantines.

The programs have different location qualifications. For a family to use the Frisco program, they must live or work in the Tenmile Basin — which includes Frisco and Copper Mountain — according to the towns’ agreement. The Breckenridge program is open to anyone living or working in Breckenridge.

The Frisco program is also open to preschool programs operated by the Summit School District and for-profit home child care businesses. The Breckenridge program is only offered to families who attend licensed nonprofit child care centers.

Under the agreement, town of Breckenridge staff members will receive and review applications for the program in Frisco, but Frisco staff will be the main point of contact for families. The town of Frisco will pay a $250 fee per application review conducted by Breckenridge staff.

Burr said the Frisco town government was eager to get started as soon as possible.

“We felt it was the right thing to be able to work together on a program because they did want to keep it exactly the same,” Burr said.

Frisco is also paying Breckenridge $750 to modify its current application on Survey Monkey to reflect the program in Frisco. The towns agreed that fees paid to Breckenridge will not exceed $20,000.

At its Jan. 11 meeting, the Frisco Town Council agreed to dedicate $349,452 to the program. The money is in addition to the $65,000 that the town gives to Summit County Preschool.

Breckenridge budgeted $869,499 for the assistance program and other child care support in 2022. In 2020, the program served 149 Breckenridge families, which each saved an average of $495 a month, according to the town’s 2022 budget.

Although supportive of Frisco’s efforts to establish its own tuition-assistance program, some Breckenridge council members expressed concerns that the agreement will put further strain on the town’s employees.

“I’m really psyched that we can get our program expanded,” Owens said to Burr. “… But I also just know how busy you guys are, so I hope that it has been discussed that at a staff level this is probably not a long-term solution.”

The agreement will be revisited every year with the idea that it is a temporary solution, Burr said.

Burr said town staff hopes the agreement will further efforts to establish a countywide tuition-assistance program. Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Dillon and Frisco have been exploring the possibility of a program in partnership with the Summit County government.

“We felt like it was one step closer to that to have both (Upper Blue and Tenmile) basins working on the same program as we move to hopefully a larger program across the county,” she said.

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