Announcement from the Department of Economic Security (DES) - 12/16/2020
Because many schools and school districts have returned to virtual learning during the COVID-19 declaration of emergency, along with limited capacity in before and after school programming, a specific need for child care for families has been identified, including those with school-age children.
In response to this need, DES has approved the Essential Workers Child Care Relief scholarship program for children of first responders, critical health care workers, and essential public sector employees, food bank and grocery services, and licensed/certified child care services. The attached postcard may also be used to help provide an easy reference to the registration site.
A few items of note are below. We have also listed a Frequently Asked Questions & Answers on the CCA website at: des.az.gov/services/child-and-family/child-care
Scholarship Eligibility and Requirements:
- Registration for the scholarship will be available beginning December 16, 2020 and the scholarship is planned to run through February 28, 2021.
- The scholarship will be administered by the Child Care Administration, and will function similarly to the Arizona Enrichment Center Scholarship program that was in effect from April-August 2020.
- Program eligibility is for a defined subset of essential workers’ children only.
- Applicants will have to meet the requirement of $65,000 household income or less.
- Participants will not have a copay, but will have to pay the difference between the reimbursement rate and the provider rate, if applicable.
- Participants will have to select from DES contracted child care providers only, and provider selection is required as part of the application. Arizona Child Care Resource & Referral can assist parents in finding and selecting care.
- Applicants will need to register here for the Essential Workers Child Care Relief Scholarship.
Provider Benefits and Requirements:
- Providers will receive reimbursement at the 75th percentile of the Market Rate for approved children. Please see attached Maximum Reimbursement Rates for Child Care (CCA-1227A) for details.
- Providers will be reimbursed for actual utilization.
- Parents will have to pay the difference between the reimbursement rate and the provider rate.
- Providers will not receive an additional incentive such as Quality First or accreditation on top of the emergency scholarship payment rates.
Additional - Reimbursement Rate changes:
To assist in caring for Arizona’s children that are currently unable to attend in person services at school, DES has provided a revised Maximum Reimbursement Rates for Child Care (CCA-1227A) for all certified and licensed child care providers contracted by DES. This revision allows for reimbursement for hours of care for school-age children when children are completing remote, virtual, or online school work.
If a DES contracted child care provider has any questions regarding the Arizona Essential Workers Child Care Relief Scholarship Participation Agreement, please have them contact their CCA Contracts Specialist or email [email protected].
Thank you again for your partnership and support as we continue to uphold our commitment to Arizona’s economic recovery, health and well-being during the ongoing pandemic.