Cobb Childcare & Preschool cares for and educates up to 100 children annually from 6 weeks to five years of age. Our mission is to ensure equitable access to high-quality care and early learning for Douglas County Oregon families. We promote socio-economic, racial, and cultural diversity by including families of various income levels. To help meet our mission, we have a unique five-tier sliding fee scale based on gross household income, with three of the tiers below the market price for our area. We maintain a waiting list for enrollment spaces in all classrooms.
• Tier 1 is 185% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), a measure of income issued every year by the Department of Health and Human Services. It is also the income threshold for Employment Related Day Care (ERDC, or state-assisted subsidy).
• Tier 2 includes a range between 185% of the FPL and 80% of the Area Median Income for the Douglas County Area (AMI), a measure of income issued every year by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
• Tier 3 is 80%-100% of the AMI.
• Tier 4 is 100%-120% of the AMI.
• Tier 5 is 120%-200% of the AMI.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Sliding Scale Tuition?
Sliding-scale tuition is tuition assistance based on the principle that a family’s financial commitment should be proportionate to its financial resources, ensuring equitable access to our services. The same financial information is requested from all families that wish to apply for tuition assistance; we use the first two pages of the family’s most current tax return to determine gross total income and family size.
If I pay in full, am I underwriting Sliding Scale Tuition for a family-in-need?
Absolutely not. To ensure that this process is fair and equitable for every family, families that pay in full are not asked to pay more than the actual cost of educating their children. Instead, Cobb Childcare & Preschool accesses a designated fund to offset and underwrite all tuition reductions provided through our Sliding Scale Tuition Program. Cobb Children’s Learning Center raises more than $60,000 annually for this purpose.
Once I submit our financial information, how long will it take for Cobb to confirm the tuition rate?
Families who provide accurate and current financial information during the sliding scale window (May 1st- May 15th annually), will receive confirmation of their sliding scale tuition rate on June 1st. Families who enroll mid-year will receive a tuition number within 3-5 days, depending on the availability of funds.
What should I do if I receive a sliding scale tuition rate that is still not affordable for my child/ren to attend Cobb?
If a family receives a sliding scale tuition rate that they do not feel is affordable, we welcome them to simply contact our Executive Director to further discuss tuition. As we continue to grow, we hope to further reduce our scale; there may also be other financial assistance available. If family income is below the Tier 1 rate, we encourage them to apply for assistance through the Oregon Department of Human Services.
How do I apply for sliding scale tuition?
All families wishing to pay full tuition can do so through the standard enrollment process. To request tuition assistance via the sliding scale model, current families will submit the first two pages of their most recent federal tax return between the sliding scale window of May 1st-May 15th. Sliding scale tuition requests made outside the May window will be accepted on a case-by-case basis and are dependent on available funds. Families are provided with a tuition number and billing agreement on June 1st. Only the Executive Director will have access to your financial information, which is stored securely after processing.
What if the child's parents are divorced, separated or not present?
We consider both parents to have an obligation to contribute to the extent they can to their children’s educational expenses, which is why we request the first two pages of current tax returns for both parents. If either parent has remarried we will consider the income of the stepparent along with the primary parent in lieu of both natural parents, so long as they file together. If either parent lives in a household with another working adult (i.e. both supporting the child but unmarried), we require tax returns from both adults if the other parent is not available to submit.
In circumstances where the child is claimed as a dependent on a tax return other than their natural parents, we will consider the income from the individual(s) who claim the child for the purpose of determining sliding scale eligibility.
Requests to consider extenuating circumstances (such as a missing parent or one who has not provided support and has not been in contact with the family for a lengthy period) should be explained in writing to the Executive Director via email.