Childcare costs can be a huge burden, particularly for parents starting new jobs, changing employment, or going to school.

Fortunately, Meridian Trust North Star Foundation has launched a Childcare Initiative to help take the edge off.

According to the foundation's website, "eligible families may receive (a grant) up to $500 for full-time or $250 for part-time, or the cost of care for each child attending, whichever is less."

"Upon an approved application, the grant is to help with the first month’s cost of childcare as employees and students acclimate to their schedules and income streams," said Director Kim Withers.

"Sometimes the first paycheck or financial aid may be delayed, but childcare has to be paid ahead," she added. "This is where the grant can help out."

For more information about the program and/or to apply, visit: https://www.northstarfoundation.com/childcare-initiative

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