Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Announces Federal Funds for Maui Family Support Services

October 11, 2016
Press Release

Honolulu, HI—U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today announced federal funding totaling $1 million that will help increase availability, affordability and improve the quality of child care programs for Native Hawaiian families through Maui Family Support Services. 
 
“Hawaiʻi families should not have to choose between their child’s safety and meeting day-to-day needs. Yet a lack of access to quality and affordable childcare, especially on our neighbor islands, makes it increasingly difficult for families to make ends meet. This federal funding for the Quality Care for Hawaiian Keiki (QCHK) project will increase the number of quality child care providers in Maui County and help make childcare more affordable and accessible for more than 200 Native Hawaiian families in need,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.  
 
“We are very excited and thankful for this federal grant as it will impact a lot of Native Hawaiian and Part-Hawaiian families in improving their self-sufficiency.  By providing them with child care subsidies, they will be able to go to work, go to school or attend training.  For families who are working part-time or going to school part-time, this grant will also assist them in increasing their work hours or school credits as they will be able to afford childcare.  In addition to subsidies, we will be able to assist child care providers (licensed providers as well as relatives who are providing care) in improving quality of their services by supporting their professional development,” said Edeluisa M. Baguio-Larena, CEO of Maui Family Support Services.
 
Background: The Administration for Children and Families-Office of Child Care recently awarded Maui Family Support Services (MFSS) a $1,000,000 grant for the Quality Care for Hawaiian Keiki (QCH) project. The project will provide childcare subsidies to over 200 Native Hawaiian/ Part-Hawaiian families based upon eligibility. MFSS will serve families in Hana, Molokaʻi and areas in Central and Upcountry in Maui. In addition, the MFSS QCHK project will increase the number of quality child care providers in Maui County by providing educational consumer information to promote informed childcare choices, provide activities that will improve the quality and availability of childcare, and having high-quality staff development for providers. MFSS will post and provide more information regarding the project’s eligibility criteria and how to sign-up for services in the near future. 
 
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has worked closely with organizations like Maui Family Support Services and others across the state that support the social and economic needs of Hawaiʻi families. Last year, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard honored the 35th Anniversary of Maui Family Support Services and spoke about the impact MFSS has made for families and the Maui County community in a speech on the House floor.
 
Maui Family Support Services was founded in 1980 with a mission to, “promote healthy family functioning by providing family support and educational services that build on family strengths.” The organization’s prime directive is to utilize its collective resources toward the prevention of child abuse and neglect. More information can be found at www.mfss.org.

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