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Thousands of Children Enrolled in Child Care Recovery Scholarship Program: Slots Still Available

 

Working families benefit from ARRA funds

tennesseedepartmentofhumanservicesNASHVILLE, Tenn. – More than 4,000 children are now enrolled in the Child Care Recovery Scholarship program.  This time-limited, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program is helping thousands of families across the state make ends meet by reducing their weekly child care bills.

“This Recovery Act program is already helping provide safe, quality child care to thousands of Tennessee children,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “Our goal has been to reach as many children as possible and encourage families to utilize all the benefits available to them under this program.  We encourage any working family that may benefit to talk with their licensed child care provider or area Boys & Girls club for information.”

The $42 million program, designed by the Tennessee Department of Human Services, is opened to all licensed child care providers and Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs across the state.  The majority of enrollments are in Shelby County, with more than 900 children on the program, followed by Davidson County with 450 children.  There are 300 children enrolled in Knox County and 240 in Chattanooga.

Little Visionary Preschool/Childcare in Clarksville, TN

Little Visionary Preschool/Childcare in Clarksville, TN

““We knew when we announced this program last spring that this would take some of the pressure off working families struggling in this economy,” said DHS Commissioner Gina Lodge.  “Child care expenses take up a huge portion of the family budget.  We are pleased to be able to offer some relief during these tough economic times.”

To be eligible for the program, the parent(s) must be working or enrolled in school full-time.  Parents are still required to pay a co-payment for their child care, but in some cases, it is reducing their bill by fifty to eighty percent.  A family’s gross income may not exceed 180 percent of the state median income, or the following monthly income limits:

2 person household

3 person household

4 person household

5 person household

6 person household

$2,897/mo

$3,579/mo

$4,260/mo

$4,942/mo

$5,623/mo

Parents and providers have jumped at the chance to participate in the program.

“I think it is definitely helping the little guy,” said Holly Street Daycare Executive Director Karen Stump of Nashville.  “There are families that are just on the borderline and can’t get any other help, and they are able to meet that income limit.   It is so nice to be able to help the parents when they need it.”

The program is estimated to serve at least 7,000 children and will end when the Recovery dollars run out or on September 30, 2010, whichever comes first.

DHS licenses 3,300 child care agencies across the state.  The Tennessee Department of Education licenses 1,800 agencies.

For more information on the Child Care Recovery Scholarship program, visit: http://state.tn.us/humanserv/recovery/CC_arra.html . For more information on Tennessee’s Recovery projects, visit: www.tnrecovery.gov .


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