Virginia families will have better access to affordable child care thanks to an extension of the expanded Child Care Subsidy Program.
House Bill 2206, which Northam signed in April, established a new short-term eligibility category for parents seeking financial assistance for child care while looking for employment and temporarily increased the income eligibility criteria through July 31, 2021.
The final date for covering co-payments for families has been pushed back to Dec. 31, 2021, at Northam’s direction, according to a news release.
“Access to high-quality child care is not only critical to the health and safety of Virginia’s children, but it is also important for advancing a strong, equitable recovery,” Northam said in the release.
“Extending these resources through the end of 2021 will help close the affordability gap for parents and providers, allowing thousands of Virginians to return to work, support their families and grow our economy.”
Under the program, financial assistance for child care is available to families with at least one child under age 5 who is not yet in kindergarten and with a household income up to 85% of the state median income.
According to the release, families approved for the subsidy will remain eligible to receive benefits for 12 months, or until their income exceeds 85% of the state median income. More than 1,000 additional Virginia families were receiving child care assistance through the expanded Child Care Subsidy Program as of July 1.
“Our team has visited programs in every region of the Commonwealth this year and the benefits of in-person instruction for our littlest learners are clear,” First Lady Pamela Northam said. “Virginia’s early educators are truly superheroes, and we want to ensure all families have access to these vital programs.”
House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, who sponsored the bill, said: “Every child in Virginia is capable of success in school and beyond if they have access to the right resources. I know, as a mom myself, that parents want what is best for their children. By reducing barriers to quality child care, this extension will be of great help to working families.”
More information about the program is available online.