Wake County unveils program to help pay for childcare during COVID-19
Posted October 26, 2020 11:35 a.m. EDT
Updated October 26, 2020 6:26 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — On Monday, Wake County unveiled a program to help working families struggling to pay for childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program is expected to cover or reduce childcare costs for Wake County families in the months of August, September and December, the months not already covered by a state-funded program.
The state-funded program, called the Emergency School Age Family Support Program, is helping qualifying families in every county with childcare payments in October and November.
“The costs associated with unexpected childcare five days a week are enough to damage the fragile budgets of families impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, but without regular, in-person education there aren’t many alternatives,” said Greg Ford, chairman of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. 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.
Eligible families will be accepted into the Wake Supports program on a first-come, first-served basis. Officials estimate the program can cover or reduce childcare costs for around 2,000 children.
To qualify to apply, families must:
- Live in Wake County
- Fall in a low-to-moderate income category as reflected in the 2020 HUD income levels for the region
- Be impacted financially by COVID-19
- Have at least one child in kindergarten through sixth grade
As long as children meet the age requirements, there is no limit to how many children can be helped in one family.
Wake Supports payments will be made directly to the childcare provider to reduce or eliminate each parent's cost. The childcare provider must meet certain state-mandated qualifications.
People can apply at wakegov.com/wakesupports or call 919-212-7621 to request an application. Applications will be accepted through December or when funds run out.