- On October 26, 2020
This school year started unlike any before – with remote learning for all Wake County students. For some parents who can’t work from home, this has created new and unexpected expenses like paying for childcare or supervision for their kids as they attend class virtually.
“COVID-19 has already stretched household budgets thin, and we don’t want parents to have to choose between earning a living and giving their children the care they need,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chairman Greg Ford. “That’s why today we’re launching a new program called WakeSUPPORTS – to make it easier to afford childcare and remote learning supervision.”
WakeSUPPORTS can benefit local families in two ways:
- Providing funding to working parents, so they
can afford to pay for their kindergartners through eighth graders to attend
virtual school at a safe location with reliable oversight, or receive before
and after school care; and
- Paying for the fees that accompany subsidized
childcare for families who meet specific income criteria.
The county will use $5 million in CARES Act funding to support the program.
WakeSUPPORTS works in partnership with the Emergency School Age Family Support Program, which the N.C. Division of Child Development and Early Education launched on Oct. 23. The state’s program covers childcare or support for the months of October and November, while Wake County’s program will assist with expenses incurred from Aug. 17 – when public school started – through Sept. 30, and during the month of December 2020.
“Our program bookends the state’s program seamlessly, so qualifying families can get reimbursed for funds they’ve already spent this school year and assistance paying what they will owe through the end of 2020,” said Chairman Ford. “WakeSUPPORTS could make a significant difference in the lives of roughly 2,000 children in our community.”
To qualify for WakeSUPPORTS, households must:
- Live in Wake County;
- Have a child in kindergarten through sixth grade;
- Have been impacted by COVID-19; and
- Fall in a low-to-moderate income category as reflected in the 2020 HUD income levels for our region.
In addition to the applicants meeting eligibility criteria, the childcare provider who receives the direct payment must meet state-mandated qualifications. Payments can range from $516 to $870 per month per child, depending on the type of facility they attend.
To learn more and apply, go to wakegov.com/wakeSUPPORTS or call 919-212-7621.
Wake County has made it easy for you to stay updated on the latest information about COVID-19. You can visit our multilingual COVID-19 webpage, which has a set of frequently asked questions to educate residents, a list of COVID-19-related closures and service changes, as well as contact information for people to use to ask specific questions.
The county is also sharing important information on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.