Wake families can get help with child care costs during coronavirus pandemic
The county has allocated $5 million from the CARES Act towards a new program called Wake Support that will give up $870 per child, per month to families with low to moderate incomes - a family of four making less than $56,460, for example, or family of five making 61,000 or less.
challenges to daily life for some households in our community and school is one of those challenges due to Kobe 19. This school year started unlike any before with remote learning for all of Wake County public school students, including my own kids, a za former teacher and principal. I understand the pressures are, educators face as they work very hard to teach students in a virtual environment and is the father of three kids. I can empathize how stressful and challenging remote learning could be. This new reality is even more difficult for parents who can't work from home or whose hours are not flexible. They have to work to pay the bills, but they can't leave their Children at home alone with no oversight. So now they have to find childcare for their younger Children and supervision. For older kids who attend virtual school, it's it's quite a lot, especially when most families didn't plan for this extra monthly expense. So the costs associated with unexpected childcare five days a week are enough to damage the already fragile budgets of families impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. But without regular in person education, there aren't many alternatives. That's why the Board of Commissioners and I saw this need within our community on knew we had to help, just like we've done with several other programs related to the pandemic providing relief. So on Friday last week, the state launched its emergency School age family support program. This program helps qualified families cover the cost of childcare and remote learning supervision for two months, the months of October and November. And while this will be a big help for families in our community, there's still a gap to fill. The months of August, September and December are not covered by the state's program. That's three months of unexpected expenses that many families just can't afford. So Wake County is bridging the gap and offering additional relief. Today, I'm very excited to announce the launch of a new program called Wake Supports and folks, Just as the name implies. The goal of the program is to support Wake County residents who are struggling to pay for childcare and remote learning supervision. As a board, we've committed $5 million in Federal Cares Act funding to this effort, and depending on the type of child care provider they used, each family could qualify for up to $870 per child per month. And Assistance Week supports allows us to offer relief to more than 2000 Children in Wake County, whose families face the challenge of paying for childcare in the strained economic climate while also working to provide for their loved ones. So, as we see it wakes, supports is like bookends to the state's program. Our program will reimburse parents for childcare expenses from August 17th, when the school year started through September 30th. Let me repeat that qualifying parents and guardians will be able to apply for reimbursement of childcare expenses starting from August 17th. We think that's a big deal then. The state's program will cover this month of October and next month, November and our program will fund expenses incurred in December. At the end of this year, this wrap around approach insurers funding assistance is available for every day of the school year in 2020 for those who need it the most. Now, our team will work together with licensed childcare providers and community based organizations that are registered with the state to fulfill that goal. So to guarantee that no one who needs the assistant goes without. We've made it very easy to apply. And I really credit Wake County government staff again for making accessibility to these funds so easy for our residents. So to qualify, you must be a way county resident. You must fall in a low to moderate income category. We could talk more about that later. You must have been impacted financially by Cove in 19. And, of course, regarding Children. You must have a child in kindergarten through sixth grade. In addition to the applicants meeting eligibility criteria, that childcare provider who receives the direct payment must meet state mandated qualifications. How do you apply? If we support seems like something you could benefit from, we encourage everyone to apply. The application process starts by filling simply out that that form, which you can access in several ways in English or Spanish. First, you can visit our new Web page wig of dot com slash wake supports. You can also call 919 212 76 to 1 to request an application. Uh, hopefully, staff and media will host that number for us. Again. Again, that number is 919 21276 to 1. Again, that's to request an application, or you can pick one up in person. R Swinburne Building and Raleigh will have applications on hand, so we'll Wake County's East Regional Center, the Northern Regional Center and the Southern Regional Regional Center. So addresses for all of these locations could be found on the Wake County website or by calling 919 212 7000 well, except one application per child in the household and for those who qualify the payments will not be made to the families instead will provide the funds directly to the childcare entities to reduce or erase what families. Oh, Scuse me for payments dating back to August, we will enter into agreements with the childcare providers to refund the appropriate amount of money to qualifying families and will accept applications through December of this year or until the funds run out. In addition to funding for remote learning supervision, Wake supports will also pay the parent fees for those who already received state and federal child care subsidies. To qualify for this part of our program, parents guardians must already receive a child care subsidy again. Wake County will make payments directly to the providers, and eligible parents will be reimbursed for their fees, and those who receive this benefit will not have to apply for a program. Wake County will make these payments automatically for those receiving assistance. So we're very excited. We know that Wake supports is going to make a tangible difference for so many families in our community. I look forward to working with our local partners and the media to help raise awareness about it. And again, thank you so much for all of our media partners joining us today for this announcement so we can ensure that our Children can learn in a safe and reliable environment. Now I'm sure our reporter friends joining us this morning have some questions I'd like to ask. Help answer them. I'd like Wake County Economic Benefits manager Linda Bauer and Wake County program adult supervisor Angela Council and communications specialist Leah Holdren to join me. Good morning, everybody. And Leah, would you mind sharing our first question with it? Sure, we'll now take some time to answer some questions again as a reminder. If you are entering a question in the chat, please include your name and the outlet and make sure that the drop down menu is set to everyone so that everyone can see it. Not just the host. Um, well, now wait for the questions to come in. Um, Linda, while we're waiting, why don't you tell us how many families and, um, Children, you think can perceive help from this program that we could serve approximately 2000 Children for but the problem? Great, Great. And there may be some questions about the state's program. So one question, maybe. Where could people go to apply for the state's program? Um, do you have to apply for both? Where can people receive assistance from both programs? They can access E website. That's a division of child about that in early education and a 19 page there is an application online that the parents Great. It looks like we are still waiting for a question again. Please make sure if you are entering a question you haven't set toe everyone. The if I may just jump in with a question for our esteemed panel. In my comments earlier, I mentioned eligibility to low and moderate income families. Maybe, uh, one of our Panelists can describe exactly what that means in terms of qualification. So folks are aware now to put anybody on the spot where I can Hey, okay, It is based on gross monthly income. Awake supports program. We are using the HUD housing and Urban the headlines, and the state is using 200% of the federal, which is the same level they use for child care subsidy or state funding. That pro. And just to give you an example of that, um, come limit under the wake support on example would be if it's territory, that gross monthly income limit would be 4235. Uh huh. Great. It looks like we do have our first question. Um, this is from Randy Ayala from CBS 17. Under the guidelines, I know it's a low to moderate income, but will parents who have lost their job be able to apply? Mm hmm. Um, the families must have a need for that and must fall under co vid. I urge everyone to fill out that application and we can weigh had questions we would definitely reach out. And it may be that some families are not coming, um, with doing the remote learning at home. And that's certainly one of the practice. Your eligibility? Great. Do we have any other questions or anything that you, as program managers of this program, feel like people would benefit from knowing about? We highly encourage individuals to apply again. We will will come navigate which program for which month benefit. So if they are applying for October and November, of course, we have the state that would be bridging that gap. But we will also assess three application thing that no one goes miss. And it might be that there over ring program, but they may meet our eligibility guidelines, so we would definitely be able t o great. All right, well, if there is no other questions from the media, um, I think that's all that we've got. We must have covered it very well in our comment. Um, then we will. Oh, we got another one last minute. This one is also from Randy at CBS 17. Is there a limit on how many kids in a family can apply for this program? Be between a kindergarten. They must be in kindergarten up through great six. But within one family. Would there be a limit? Thio How maney in a household could apply? No, there's not no limit in the household. Okay, great. All right. And we have Daniel Lopez from Univision 40. Um, I saw your message that you have a question. So we're waiting for it. Okay. Um, in terms of papers, can anybody apply? What about legal status? Do have the child must be illegal. Um, citizens, A beach based on the child. Okay. All right. And I think those are all of our questions for today, Chairman Ford, I will send it back over to you to close this out. All right. Thanks so much the thank you, everyone for your questions this morning. We certainly appreciate the media partnering with us to educate the community about wake supports and the assistance it can offer. We hope and expect it to help a lot of families here in Wake County in the months to come. Thanks to those of you who are joining us here right now on this live stream, we hope you will help us spread the word about wake supports to again. As always. Why have you please remember to practice those three W's. Wash your hands, walk or wait, or stand at least 6 ft away from other people and wear a mask. I asked this so you and your loved ones can stay healthy and safe all of the season and beyond. Thanks again, everybody. We hope you apply and spread the word about supports. Have a great day. Okay, everyone, we're no longer live. So thank you all very much for your assistance in this morning's press conference.