Tennessee Gives 10% Boost to Child Care Providers Serving Low-Income Children and Families

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Child Care Providers See 10% Increase in Payment Rates for Children with Enrolled Families and Meet Requirements for State Assistance Programs for Low-Income Families .

Officials from the Department of Social Services said it was a step to help parents and caregivers better balance their lives while raising a family and keeping a job.

The increase, which took place Friday, applies to all care categories in the state’s child care certificate program.

“Many child care providers have served families continuously and consistently throughout the pandemic, enabling working parents and children to continue their critical early childhood learning,” the commissioner said. of the Tennessee Department of Social Services, Clarence H. Carter, in a statement. “This rate increase will create incentives to develop the child care industry and remove some of the barriers that make it difficult for parents to enter the workforce and support their families.”

(READ MORE: Chattanooga daycares step up COVID-19 protocols as cases increase in children)

Tennessee pays a reimbursement rate directly to child care providers on behalf of families enrolled in programs that meet state income and work or education requirements. The rate hike is expected to save a number of participating families money by reducing the amount they have to pay to cover school fees.

Photo provided by the Tennessee Department of Human Services / Clarence H. Carter

At the same time, officials said, it is providing additional financial support to child care providers who may be recovering from financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. This should help providers keep their doors open and be available to serve families locally who need quality care for their children.

The Department of Social Services began last week providing additional assistance to child care agencies that provide services to children with disabilities or special needs. A 15% “bonus” will be applied to each eligible child who participates in the Child Care Certificate program. In addition to this, the agency is partnering with the Child Care Resource and Referral Network to establish a team of quality inclusion coaches to promote inclusive early childhood environments.

(READ MORE: Biden plan gives early childhood funding a boost after one in eight preschool workers lose their jobs amid pandemic)

These investments are part of a series of measures to support and expand child care services in Tennessee. In recent years, the Department of Social Services has offered COVID-19 improvement and relief grants, established the WAGE $ program to increase wages, and created a bonus for providers operating in communities that do not have a sufficient number of childcare providers.

Earlier this year, Tennessee lawmakers turned to state welfare programs and, with the administration of Governor Bill Lee, made major changes to the Temporary Assistance program for needy families in the city. State for the working poor and needy families. The changes boosted monthly cash allowances to families while providing new educational and other support aimed at helping them achieve self-sufficiency and, eventually, leave social assistance.

Contact Andy Sher at [email protected] or 615-255-0550. Follow him on Twitter @ AndySher1.

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