FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has announced that the Division of Child Care, part of the Department for Community Based Services, has received an additional federal $42 million block grant to aid more families with young children and support children’s healthy development.
DCBS Commissioner Eric Clark said the funding helps to meet the needs of the families his agency serves.
“DCBS is excited about the opportunities presented through these additional federal funds to support families and children throughout the commonwealth,” he said. “The input and collaboration we received from our key stakeholders and partners were essential toward identifying, developing, and prioritizing a more robust and sustainable Child Care Assistance Program, which ultimately improves outcomes for our families and children.”
The money is new discretionary funding through the Child Care Development Block Grant, managed by the U.S. Administration for Children and Families. Kentucky decided to make some changes in how to best spend these funds to meet the goals of the program. They include:
--Reimbursement rates for licensed and certified providers will be raised to better align with market rates throughout Kentucky.
--The Federal Poverty Level threshold for discontinuance of CCAP funding will be raised to 200 percent. This will allow families to qualify for child care while building their earning potential and will allow more families to stay in the workforce while qualifying for child care.
--DCBS will continue to cover the $25 administrative portion of staff background checks. This reduces the financial burden on child care providers seeking to hire new employees.
--Child care expenses for foster care will shift from Division of Protection and Permanency state funding sources to federal dollars. This aligns with federal recommendations that foster children be recognized as a priority group for federal funding and will help relieve state funding shortfalls.
--Effective June 28, 2019, CCAP applicants enrolled full-time in an accredited college or university, a certified trade school, or participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training program will qualify for CCAP in lieu of the work requirement. This will allow families to increase earning potential by qualifying for child care services while pursuing education, job, and skill training full-time.
DCC Director Sarah Vanover said the funding gives priority to both families and child care providers “to support the households of children as they work towards long-term financial stability, while also supporting child care providers to pursue continuous quality improvement and employ more qualified educators.”