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MDHSS helping low income families afford child care through $66 million Federal Cares Act

“Families who previously did not qualify for a child care subsidy payment, may now qualify,”said Jennifer Tidball, the acting director of MDHSS.

Posted: May 8, 2020 5:26 PM
Updated: May 11, 2020 10:25 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Missouri families heading back to work will now have an easier time getting child care.

“Under the Federal Cares Act, Missouri will receive $66 million in funding for child care assistance,”said Missouri Governor, Mike Parson. 

The acting director of Missouri's Department of Social Services, Jennifer Tidball, said,“Families who previously did not qualify for a child care subsidy payment, may now qualify.”

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services are helping struggling Missourians afford child care. 

“Under the Child Care Plan, low income families searching for work will be eligible for a 90 child care benefit. Low income families will be able to access this temporary benefit through December of 2020,”said Tidball. 

Through August of 2020, Missouri families with incomes up to 215 percent of the poverty level and with a documented child care need will have access to a transitional child care subsidy benefit.

Daycare providers will also receive their cut of the state fund. 

“Usually, the state says you can only have a few absences a month and that’s all they’re gonna pay for. But, right now they’re saying since we’re seeing large absences, we’re gonna pay out everybody from these cares funds to make sure that our day cares aren’t going under because that’s a risk,”said Meredith Schuh, the administrative director for Bright Beginnings. 

Up to this point, Bright Beginnings had been admitting students, even if their family couldn't afford the payments. 

“We’ve accepted them even if we technically shouldn’t have because we understand the need for care and we understand this is an essential function. This is not something you can just throw by the wayside and you can’t just say, ‘Oh you’ll kid will be fine.’ No, they’re not,”said Schuh. 

Daycare providers said with this new set of state funds, Missouri has more ability to help people and if residents are searching for financial help, they said now's the time. 

“I would apply right now because this would be a good time,”said Schuh. 

Low income families and daycare providers can apply for the child care assistance funds at dss.mo.gov. 

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A strong winter storm is expected to continue around the region, producing heavy snow along the Iowa/Missouri border with lesser amounts farther south. Potential for some icing between the Missouri River and highway 36. Precipitation is expected to gradually decrease Monday night, but areas of drizzle and freezing drizzle may persist into Tuesday morning.
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