An additional 10,000 low-income families set to receive childcare assistance through CAPS

Georgia News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Georgia saw an increased need for affordable childcare due to the pandemic. This month, state lawmakers announced they’ll be expanding Childcare and Parent Services programs.

The state is putting pandemic relief funds towards expanding CAPS programs starting November 1st.

Once it takes affect, an additional 10,000 low-income families will receive childcare assistance. CAPS currently serves 50,000 low-income families and with this expansion they will be serving 20% more.

In addition to this, the expansion will raise income thresholds to qualify for CAPS services. That means more families will be eligible.

“Georgians can’t go back to work without high-quality childcare that’s affordable to them,” says Georgia Early Education Alliance Executive Director, Mindy Binderman.

Georgia is still facing a labor shortage and recent data shows a lack of affordable childcare is contributing to the problem.

According to the Georgia Early Education Alliance, 34% of parents report they or a family member quit a job or didn’t take a job this year due to a lack of childcare. That is up from 26% in 2018.

“The childcare system was broken prior to the pandemic, the pandemic just really highlighted how urgent and how vital childcare is to our economy,” says Binderman.

This expansion will also provide more funding for quality childcare providers.

“There are going to be these stabilization grants that are monthly to childcare providers so that they can support the additional costs that they need for staff and to keep their doors open,” Binderman says.

Even with these new expansions, Binderman says Georgia needs long-term solutions to childcare shortages beyond this emergency funding.

“What we really need for this childcare system for work is ongoing substantial funding for childcare from now into the future,” says Binderman.

This expansion will be in effect until 2024. For more information about how to apply for services you can CLICK HERE.

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