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Affordable, Accessible Childcare for Columbia 

Toys at the Family Center in Columbia

United Way Family Center in Columbia to benefit parents and employers 

Did you know childcare in Howard County for two averages about $2,000 a month? 

With one of the highest costs of living in Maryland, it's a difficult place for people earning low or moderate incomes to get ahead. 

Nearly 30% of households in Howard County can't afford the basics, like a safe, affordable place to call home; medical care to keep their families healthy; or a car to get to work or to the grocery store. 

And a vast majority of these households are families with children. Higher than average childcare costs in the area make it tough for families with children who are already struggling to make ends meet.  

For many of these families, childcare is their second-highest expense after housing. 

The new United Way Neighborhood Zone in Columbia's Family Center will provide parents in the area with affordable, high-quality childcare at a cost below market rate. And all staff working 20 hours or more will receive full benefits and be paid above-average wages. 

This new center will also benefit area businesses: When employees take time off work because they can't afford or find care for their children, companies pay the price in absenteeism and lost productivity—and barriers in hiring and retention. 

Your support of our Family Center at the Neighborhood Zone in Columbia will strengthen families, those it employs, and area businesses. 

Donations are needed for: 

  • Educational materials, equipment, and technology 

  • Playground construction and equipment 

  • Outfitting rooms with furniture and fixtures 

  • Facility renovations 

  • Ongoing operational and development costs 

Please consider a gift today. 

Learn more about how the Family Center will help families, businesses, and employees here. 

Watch our Realities of Inequity session in which Howard County leaders talk about what this Family Center will mean for residents and the local economy.