Governor Mike Parson announced $46 million in child care funding to ensure child care providers can support the needs of working Missouri families, especially those with low incomes during COVID-19.
“In order for Missouri to be a strong and healthy state, we must deliver essential services and support the needs of our working families, especially during COVID-19. As Governor, I am committed to finding innovative ways to do this,” Governor Parson said. “The funding announced will continue to help low-income families, support child care providers, and provide new ways to meet the educational needs of students in child care settings.”
The announcement includes a new $2.5 million grant opportunity for child care providers across the state. Child care providers may apply for a grant of up to $25,000 to support the needs of school-age children who are virtually learning while in their care.
To help offset income loss due to low attendance during COVID-19, $12 million will be provided to fund 20 percent rate differential payments from January through May 2021 for Child Care Subsidy Program providers not currently receiving disproportionate share rate differential payments.
The announcement also includes the continuation of several vital child care benefits for low-income Missourians:
- An additional $10.9 million will fund a temporary Child Care Subsidy benefit (up to 60 days) from January through May 2021 for low-income Missouri families unemployed due to COVID-19 while they look for work. This is a one-time benefit for Missouri parents.
- $12.8 million will fund Transitional Child Care Subsidy benefits through December 2021 for parents who work, attend school, or train for work with an income from 138 to 215 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), even if they previously did not qualify for the Child Care Subsidy program. Missouri families qualifying for a Transitional Child Care Subsidy benefit receive an 80 percent subsidy benefit if their income is between 138 to 176 percent of the FPL or a 60 percent subsidy benefit if their income is from 177 to 215 percent of the FPL.
- $8.5 million will fund full-time child care subsidy benefits through May 2021 for working parents with eligible school-aged students who are not attending in person.
“Governor Parson has been extremely supportive of quality child care for all Missouri families, and especially now during COVID-19,” said Missouri Department of Social Services Acting Director Jennifer Tidball. “We know this additional funding is very welcome news to our families and those child care providers who are keeping children safe while parents work.”
Missourians in need of information on Child Care Subsidy, Food Stamp, Medicaid, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefit programs can visit dss.mo.gov.
Missourians can also apply for those services 24/7 online by visiting MyDSS.mo.gov or sending completed applications and verification documents by email to [email protected] or by fax to 573-526-9400. The Missouri Services Navigator also has information on over 2,800 programs and services in Missouri.
Missourians who have questions not specific to an individual’s case can use the DSS Virtual Assistant for immediate answers to basic questions 24 hours a day. Phone assistance is also available by calling 855-FSD-INFO or 855-373-4636 Monday through Friday 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.