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Virginians Urged to Access Child Care Subsidy Program Before July 31

ChildSavers Encourages Child Care Providers to Become Approved Subsidy Vendor

As the July 31 deadline approaches, mental health and child development services nonprofit ChildSavers is encouraging more caregivers to sign-up for the state’s Child Care Subsidy Program. The temporarily expanded program helps qualifying families pay for and access quality child care in Virginia.

“Child care is essential, but for many people, especially families who are low-income, it can be cost prohibitive and unattainable,” said Janet Burke, Director of Child Development Services at ChildSavers. “The program is intended to help parents get back to work or maintain stable employment by providing a pathway to affordable child care.”

ChildSavers manages the region’s Child Care Aware of Central Virginia initiative which connects child care providers with the resources needed to grow and promote their businesses while connecting parents with quality early care.

Under the expanded eligibility, households with monthly incomes below 85 percent* of the state median income qualify for the subsidy.

Parents can apply for the program if they have a child who is twelve or younger and are searching for employment. Parents with children ages five or younger and not yet in kindergarten must be employed, looking for a job or participating in an education or training program.

Caregivers who are approved for the subsidy will receive support for a minimum of twelve months or until their income exceeds 85 percent of the state median income.

The expanded Child Care Subsidy Program is an important tool to help parents, especially mothers and grandparents, return to the workforce. 4.2 million women left the labor force between February and April 2020 and nearly 2 million have yet to return, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

“Applying to the program is easy and we encourage parents who think they may be eligible to look into the subsidy,” said Lisa Thompson, Child Development Services Program Manager at ChildSavers. “It’s imperative we continue to look for equitable approaches to solving the child care crisis in our country and community. Making sure all parents can access child care is critical. We know that quality child care has a long-lasting impact on a child’s development, behavior and cognitive abilities.”

People can apply for the subsidy online, by mail or in-person at local Department of Social Service offices. Applications are available in English, Spanish and other languages upon request.

People can search for high-quality child care options at Child Care Aware of Virginia.

ChildSavers is a resource for providers interested in accepting subsidies. 

Child care providers that participate in the Child Card Subsidy Program are known as subsidy vendors and provide high quality child care programs. Becoming a subsidy vendor helps child care businesses maximize capacity and guarantees income. ChildSavers can help connect child care providers with resources and trainings to become a subsidy vendor. The process takes about 90 days to complete. Approximately 44% of providers in Central Virginia are subsidy vendors.

“In addition to being a smart business decision, subsidy vendors make a difference by providing enriching environments where children spend a large number of hours each week, which allows parents to navigate the workforce,” added Burke.

For more information on how to become a subsidy vendor contact Patricia Koon, Outreach and Recruitment Supervisor at ChildSavers, at childcareaware@childsavers.org or 804-591-3919.

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Read this article about choosing childcare from LaTasha Smith at Childsavers.

 

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