5,000 More Low-Income Children Eligible for Day Care
|Friday, February 4, 2005||
Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774
ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that 5,000 more low-income children will be eligible for day care through the federal child care block grant received by the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS).
"As the economy has improved over the last year, many Georgians have returned to the workforce and it's important that we help keep them there," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "Expanding access to quality child care will empower working parents to provide for their families as they move toward economic independence."
In January 2004, Georgia's work participation rate for individuals who qualify under TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) was 17.6%. At the end of December, the work participation rate had risen to 52.6%. The work participation rate measures the number of adults on TANF who are engaged in work related activities, including actual work, training, educational programs or other work readiness activities at least 30 hours per week.
The 5,000 child increase in the Child and Parent Services (CAPS) program will help keep working parents in the workforce by providing greater access to day care for their children. The addition of these children to the program was made possible by more efficient allocation of the federal Child Care Block Grant (approximately $183 million) that supports the CAPS program. The program currently serves 53,722 children throughout the state.
DFCS is also increasing the maximum child care payment rate to help improve the quality of child care services available to working parents. This action will provide parents with more day care choices and child care service providers with reimbursement rates more reflective of the market. DFCS will adjust the reimbursement rate to 50 percent of the market rate, up from 16 percent currently. This is the first increase in this program in five years. The effective date of the market rate change is April 1, 2005.