Over $5 million in CARES Act grants announced to expand child care services on Missouri college campuses

Governor Mike Parson announced that five Missouri colleges are grant recipients of over $5 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Child Care Plan funding to improve the quality and availability of child care and early education programs.

“Access to quality child care is critical for working families, and attending college is often a full-time job,” Governor Parson said. “With this funding, we have an opportunity to not only expand access to child care for student parents but also strengthen our early childhood offerings, both of which are crucial to developing a strong workforce and moving our state forward.”

The grant recipients include the following:

 

Grant recipient Grant amount
Harris-Stowe State University

William L. Clay Child Development and Parent Education Center                                                      

$107,038.00   
Northwest MO State University

Leet Center for Children and Families          

$1,644,372.00
Ozarks Technical Community College

OTC Early Childhood Education Center

$180,494.00
Missouri University of Science and Technology

Little Miners Child Care Center

$2,710,252.00
Missouri Southern State University

Lion Cub Academy Center of Excellence

$470,519.47

Grant total

$5,112,675.47

 

The grants will support and strengthen access to safe, quality, and affordable child care for families eligible for the Child Care Subsidy Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Family Families (TANF) benefits.

“Education is a great way to help families increase their earning potential so they can move out of poverty,” said Missouri Department of Social Services Acting Director Jennifer Tidball. “Taking college courses is hard, and when you are a low-income parent with child care needs, education becomes even more challenging. Making it easier to access quality and affordable child care increases a parent’s chance to achieve their educational goals to help them get a higher paying job. This wise investment not only benefits the parents but also their children to ensure they get the best start in life.”

The grant recipients will expand child care to serve 20 or more children between the ages of 6 weeks to 5 years with at least 30 percent of the slots for children who are child care subsidy-eligible. Some of the allowed expenditures for the grant recipients include minor remodeling or upgrades to meet child care facility requirements, purchasing equipment, or items to support educational or child care activities, or recruiting and training personnel.

The Department of Social Services Children’s Division will award up to $10 million to multiple grantees during the grant period October 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021, and will announce a second round for proposals for the remaining funds.

The CARES Act Child Care Plan also provides the following  benefits to low-income Missourians:

  • Through December, low-income Missouri families unemployed due to COVID-19 can get a temporary Child Care Subsidy benefit (up to 90 days) while they look for work.
  • Effective May 1 through December 31, parents who work, attend school or train for work with an income from 138 to 215 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), may now qualify for Transitional Child Care Subsidy even if they did not previously qualify for Child Care Subsidy.
  • Missouri families qualifying or receiving a Transitional Child Care Subsidy benefit can 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
  • Parents can receive fulltime child care subsidy benefits through December 31, 2020, for eligible school-aged students who are not attending in person.

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.