FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The state is providing additional financial assistance to the state’s day care centers to try to help them stay afloat under coronavirus restrictions.
During the governor’s daily briefing Wednesday, Eric Friedlander, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, spoke about Kentucky’s efforts to shore up child care practitioners and facilities as they deal with the restrictions necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s been a difficult year for child care,” he acknowledged. “The coronavirus closed all licensed, certified and registered facilities and impacted children, families and employees of these facilities as well as the owners of these businesses.”
Earlier this year, the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) was paid through enrollment. Programs that had to close due to COVID-19 were able to receive subsidy funds to support their program for staff salaries or fixed expenses.
With funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Division of Child Care, a function of the Department for Community Based Services, offered every licensed, certified and registered child care program in the state a sustainment stipend of $225 per child based on the program’s total capacity, which is determined by the Division of Regulated Child Care.
“We’re happy to report that CHFS will make a one-time grant to licensed day cares and certified homes in the amount of $130 per child,” Secretary Friedlander announced.
The funding will help pay employee wages; facility mortgage or rent payments; facility utility payments; facility insurance payments; the child care program’s obligated portion of employee benefit insurance; and food, personal protective equipment and cleaning materials.
The payments will total about $20 million, he estimated.
Meanwhile, First Lady Britainy Beshear highlighted Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is recognized nationally in October.
“Breast cancer is one of the leading health crises for women in the United States, and unfortunately too many of us know someone who has been impacted by this disease,” the First Lady said. “One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and the American Cancer Society estimates that 3,800 Kentucky women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020.”
First Lady Beshear noted that early detection greatly reduces the risk of death and stressed the importance of mammograms for women ages 40 and older.
“Providers are encouraging patients to continue their routine screening schedules even during the current pandemic,” she said. “Get in touch with your provider to discuss a plan to stay current on your screenings while also taking precaution against the coronavirus.”
The First Lady said uninsured or underinsured women can receive a mammogram screening through the Kentucky Women’s Cancer Screening Program by calling 844-249-0708 or visiting the program’s webpage.
For additional support and resources, you can contact the Kentucky Cancer Program at 877-326-1134 or by visiting KYCancerProgram.org.
She also updated the ‘Covering for Kids’ program which she and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman launched in August to collect and distribute masks for students as they return to in-person instruction.
“Since that day, I have been so proud to see people all across the commonwealth step up in response to our call-to-action,” the First Lady said. “I haven’t been surprised though, because that’s what we do on Team Kentucky. We look out for one another, and support each other when we are in need.”
She noted that face coverings remain the best line of defense against COVID-19 that everyone can take. The Coverings for Kids initiative is providing this crucial tool to families in need and an extra pool of resources for teachers and schools.
“I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone that has made mask donations to their school districts,” First Lady Beshear said. “Thanks to your generosity, over 40,000 masks have been donated to Kentucky school districts.”
With most of Kentucky schools returning to some form of in-person instruction by the end of this month, Coverings for Kids is making one last push before closing out the program Oct. 30.
For information on how to make and donate masks to the program, click here.