VIRGINIA (WDVM) — The state of Virginia is investing $203.6 million dollars to expand access to childcare.
The funds will provide childcare assistance to families seeking stable employment, waive co-payments, and build a foundation for child mental health services state-wide.
According to the press release, nearly 90% of child care programs have reopened, but the pandemic has resulted in staffing issues and increased operational costs.
The funding will provide stabilization grants to help sustain current providers. In areas with few childcare options, the grants will go towards opening new programs.
This expansion of the childcare subsidy program is thanks to House Bill 2206, which establishes short-term eligibility for parents looking for financial child care assistance while looking for employment, as well as expanded income eligibility guidelines.
“Because of the work of this children’s cabinet, the commonwealth has been able to serve our families much more effectively and quickly and we are so much further ahead than many states today,” said First Lady Pamela Northam at a virtual meeting for the Northam Administration’s Children’s Cabinet.
The Virginia Department of Social Services is expecting to release program details and grant information by mid-April.