Governor Kelly and DCF Announce Additional Child Care Benefit; Expand Hero Relief Program
Agency takes steps to address child care needs during delayed school openings
TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly and the Kansas Department for Children and Families today announced an additional benefit in September for those receiving child care assistance to support families as they adapt to delayed school openings across the state.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our state, and many families and child care providers are in need of additional resources,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “As parents and kids adjust to virtual, remote, and hybrid learning environments, DCF is providing the support Kansas families need right now.”
“We know a large number of districts have moved the beginning of the school year to September,” DCF Secretary Laura Howard said. “This means many families are needing child care during a time when their kids would normally be in school.”
DCF is supplementing September child care plans to equal the benefit issued in August. In a typical year, the benefit would be reduced in September to account for children being in school. Those families eligible for the extra benefit include those with existing child care plans with DCF that have school-aged children. Additionally, families who apply by September 30, 2020 also will receive these additional September benefits, prorated based on the date of application.
DCF also is expanding eligibility criteria for its Hero Relief Program. The program expands DCF’s child care assistance subsidies for families by making them available to essential workers who financially qualify. Effective Sept. 1, school personnel will be added to the list of eligible workers.
The expansion will include:
- Educators and select other school personnel including teachers, para-professionals and their substitutes
- Workers providing bus or other transportation services, food services, and custodial services for public and private schools, including those employed by contractors
- Workers providing other essential services within public and private schools may be determined eligible with the approval of regional administrators
To qualify, families must have countable gross income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level. For an average family of four that equals a monthly income of $5,458. Families will receive the full DCF subsidy amount based on their family size, with no family-share deduction.
“We know teachers and other school personnel are dealing with difficult situations involving the care of their own children,” Howard said. “By expanding the Hero Relief Program, we hope to relieve some of the financial burden many of these families now face.”
For more information and for instructions on how to apply, visit ksherorelief.com.