Georgia’s CAPS Program Offering Child Care Assistance to Essential Services Workforce on Frontlines Fighting COVID-19 PandemicPrint This Post
Emergency Child Care Scholarships will be Issued for Minimum of Three Months
Georgia’s Childcare and Parent Services, or CAPS Program, provides scholarships to help with the cost of child care so parents can work or attend school. The program not only helps families navigate their children’s early years, but also connects families with resources to help them become self-sufficient.
The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) recently added a new priority group to the CAPS program for Essential Services Workforce on the front line fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Medical personnel, first responders, child care personnel, and others that meet eligibility criteria can get help finding open child care and apply for assistance paying for child care by visiting qualityrated.org.
“Emergency child care scholarships will be issued for three months and will be extended as long as the current state of emergency continues,” said Elisabetta Kasfir, deputy commissioner for Georgia’s CAPS Program. “This is a new priority group created by CAPS to support certain members of Georgia’s workforce during this public health emergency.”
“This support will help first responders and other essential workers pay for child care so they can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and support our communities with essential services,” said DECAL Commissioner Amy M. Jacobs. “Families who qualify for the Essential Services Workforce Priority Group, and meet other CAPS eligibility requirements, will be eligible to receive child care subsidy for three months and potentially longer if the COVID-19 public health emergency continues.”
DECAL has a three-tier definition of eligible families for the Essential Services Workforce. Only tier one is open, which includes:
- law enforcement, public safety, and first responder personnel (including police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, 911 call center staff, dispatchers, and National Guard);
- medical personnel who provide direct care to patients and the personnel who support direct care to patients (including sanitation staff, lab technicians, and reception staff);
- pharmacy personnel (including pharmacists, technicians, and pharmacy assistants); and
- child care personnel.
DECAL said it will add professions based on current demands, need, and availability of funding.
DECAL has allocated 500 slots for the Essential Services Workforce and will reevaluate May 1 to determine when to open it up to Tier 2.On average statewide each slot is valued at $5,500 to $6,500 annually but may be lower or higher depending on specifics.
Eligibility requirements for the Essential Services Workforce Priority Group are detailed on the application available at qualityrated.org or by calling 1-833-4GA-CAPS. For further assistance locating available child care call 1-877-ALL-GA-KIDS.
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Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is responsible for meeting the child care and early education needs of Georgia’s children and their families. It administers the nationally recognized Georgia’s Pre-K Program, licenses child care centers and home-based child care, administers Georgia’s Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program, federal nutrition programs, and manages Quality Rated, Georgia’s community powered child care rating system. The department also houses the Head Start State Collaboration Office, distributes federal funding to enhance the quality and availability of child care, and works collaboratively with Georgia child care resource and referral agencies and organizations throughout the state to enhance early care and education.
Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) is a public-private partnership created by the State of Georgia and investors from the private sector to assist communities in addressing the serious challenges facing children and families. GaFCP also serves as a resource to state agencies across Georgia that work to improve the conditions of children and families. Georgia KIDS COUNT provides policymakers and citizens with current data they need to make informed decisions regarding priorities, services, and resources that impact Georgia’s children, youth, families, and communities.