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Essential Workers Can Obtain Free Child Care Through State Scholarships

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Essential Workers Can Obtain Free Child Care Through State Scholarships

Child Care Council Inc. to connect income-eligible workers with scholarships

During the COVID-19 crisis, income-eligible essential workers in Monroe, Livingston and Wayne counties can apply to Child Care Council Inc. for scholarships to pay the full cost of child care.

To qualify, families of eligible workers must have an adjusted gross income at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level, which amounts to an annual income of $78,600 for a family of four. Essential workers using a licensed or registered child care provider will receive a scholarship for the cost of care while New York state is on PAUSE, as long as the funds to support it are available.

This child care funding allocation for essential workers comes to the state from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which has provided New York state with $163.6 million in emergency relief to the child care system. New York state is using a portion of this funding to provide free child care for eligible essential workers.

“Child Care Council applauds Governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration for developing a plan to provide child care to essential workers at no cost,” said Barbara-Ann Mattle, CEO, Child Care Council Inc. “Access to affordable, quality child care is a barrier for working parents during the best of times, and even more so during this crisis. The CARES Child Care Scholarship will ensure that children of the essential workforce are protected and cared for as they continue to serve the community.”

Eligible essential employees can apply for a scholarship by contacting Child Care Council at [email protected] or (585) 654-4720. Council staff will contact applicants within one to two business days to gather more information and help identify a participating child care program or work with their current registered or licensed child care provider. The Council will use the gathered information, including a signed verification letter from their employer, to establish that they are an essential employee, enroll them in the CARES Child Care Scholarship and ensure that the child care program gets paid.

Parents and providers also can access more details through the following links:

Parent Application: This informs parents that the application will be considered complete once the online application is finished and the required supplemental documentation is submitted to Child Care Council. It indicates that the scholarship is currently available through May 1, 2020, and/or as long as the funding remains to support the scholarship.

For parents that currently receive subsidy from DSS to pay for child care, this scholarship can cover the parent co-pay. Parents should apply for the CARES Act Scholarship, and then contact their local Department of Social Services to get a letter stating their current co-pay.

Provider Information Profile (PIP): This Program Information Profile at the link above is an application for providers to accept CARES Scholarship recipients and payments. After completion of this profile, providers will be contacted by Child Care Council with further information about how they can participate in the program.

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