The Empower Program
|Arizona||Day Care/Preschool||Cross-Cutting/System Building||Nutrition & Physical Activity, Workforce Development & Leadership||4, 8.1, 13.2|
The Empower Program was created by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) in 2010, to solve a budget shortfall which would have resulted in unaffordable licensing fees for Arizona’s child care providers, jeopardizing the health and safety of children. To solve this, Empower was created to promote healthy practices for children and their families, using child care facilities as the delivery agent. When licensed programs opted in to Empower, fees were reduced by 50%, creating a win-win for children, families, and providers. Empower is now voluntarily implemented in over 99% of ADHS licensed facilities as well as the Department of Economic Security (DES), Arizona’s state agency responsible for child care assistance/subsidy, now requires Empower enrollment from all of their contractors. Approximately 3,000 facilities, both centers and homes, are enrolled in Empower in 2021. Empower is operated out of two bureaus at ADHS: Bureau of Child Care Licensing (BCCL) for fee offset, and Bureau of Nutrition and Physical Activity (BNPA) for support to providers.