Tennessee partners with YMCA, Boys and Girls Club to provide free childcare for essential workers


NASHVILLE, Tenn.(WKRN) – The Tennessee Department of Human Services announced Friday new child care assistance to support families that are serving the state in essential workforce positions.

According to reports, through payment assistance and a network of temporary care locations, parents who work as essential employees can access child care at no cost during the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency until June 15th, 2020.

Officials say the COVID-19 Essential Employee Child Care Payment Assistance program is designed to help support essential workers so they can stay on the job during the COVID-19 emergency. Applications for payment assistance will be accepted online throughout the state of emergency here.

Once essential workers are approved for the program, TDHS will make arrangements to pay for child care at the TDHS licensed program where the child is currently served.

Officials also confirmed that TDHS is also partnering with the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee to establish free child care for school-aged children of essential workers. Through this partnership, the YMCA and Boys and Girls Clubs will establish a network of temporary/emergency child care locations across the state.

To qualify for either program, parents must be employees of a healthcare entity, law
enforcement, first responders (EMS, Fire Departments, etc.), corrections officers, military, activated
national guard, human and social services workers, postal workers, transportation employees,
restaurant workers or grocery workers.

The Tennessee Department of Human Services hopes to help with the financial burden essential employees face amid the pandemic, whether they are using licensed child care or accessing a temporary child care location.

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