Cost of CarePaying for child care continues to be a challenge for Oregon families. Oregon was just ranked second on the list of least affordable states for child care, ranked only behind the District of Columbia, according to Care.com’s Cost of Care Survey. However, Oregonians are not the only people experiencing the rising cost of child care services. The Care.com findings show that 32 percent of families spend 20 percent or more of their household income on child care, and 68 percent of families say the current tax deduction they receive from the Dependent Care FSA isn’t enough to have a meaningful impact on these costs. This child care cost epidemic continues to present a major problem for parents across the nation, putting more pressure on the federal government to subsidize child care costs, as well as pressuring employers to offer added benefits for working parents.
New Parks Attract Bend Families
The construction of several new parks in Bend offers wonderful opportunities for family fun. Coming soon is Rockridge Park, a 36.6-acre park in northeast Bend that is undergoing construction this summer and opens to the public in the fall. The park will feature new additions such as a bike skills course, a skate park, a youth disc golf course and natural play areas. Similarly, Bend Park and Recreation District is planning renovations at Big Sky Park, including a new bike path and terrain elements for youth, as well as a trail connection to Buckingham Elementary School. Shevlin Park, meanwhile, will also soon feature an additional 300 acres of tree farm, acting as a community forest in the hopes of improving public access to nature. Look for new bike and pedestrian trails there too.
Incoming Mountain View Freshman Can Earn Associate’s Degrees
A new program at Bend’s Mountain View High School allows incoming freshman to earn associate’s degrees by the time they graduate. The program, a result of a partnership between Mountain View and Central Oregon Community College, gives students the option of earning an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) two-year degree, or a one-year transfer certificate called the Oregon Transfer Module (OTM). Freshmen in the program will work with advisers from both Mountain View and COCC to design a course of study that results in a 90-credit AAOT or a 45-credit OTM. These credits will be transferrable to any public university in Oregon and will save families and students thousands of dollars in college tuition. Programs throughout the nation allowing students to earn college degrees before completing high school are growing in number at about 7 percent per year, according to the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships.