Quality childcare services will continue in Cochise County after the Board of Supervisors approved a more than $90,000 grant.


The monies will help Cochise Health & Social Services pay for health consultants to assist 35 childcare centers in providing services to their local communities.


The grant was awarded by First Things First (Cochise Regional Partnership Council), whose mission is to support the healthy development and learning of children aged 0 to 5. There are more than 10,000 children in Cochise County who fall into this age range.


Child Care Health Consultant Maureen Kappler said, “We go out and we assess children’s health, look for infectious diseases, check playgrounds, check safety, and help the childcare centers develop strategies and policies.”


Each of the centers has committed to First Things First’s Quality First initiative, a voluntary program where providers go beyond the regulatory requirements to help infants, toddlers and preschoolers.


The Board of Supervisors approved the $93,400 grant at its regular meeting on June 10.


In other business the Board gave its consent for the County Attorney to join a class action lawsuit aimed at recovering federal funds which it says should have been paid under the Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.


The lawsuit, originally initiated by Kane County, Utah, alleges that counties which contain federal lands were underpaid between 2015 and 2017. PILT payments are made by the federal government to local governments to help offset losses in property taxes.


“The federal government has got away with giving us whatever they want, rather than what the formula says,” said Supervisor Ann English.


Chair Peggy Judd added, “I agree that this is a good idea.”


It is estimated the County will receive $57,540 after payment of attorney fees, should the lawsuit prove successful. There are no upfront costs to the County.