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Major changes are coming to the Care 4 Kids program which helps low to moderate income families in Connecticut pay for child care costs.
The Care 4 Kids program, which is sponsored by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, will CLOSE to NEW APPLICANTS on August 1. Currently, working families who are under 30% of state median income (SMI) are able to apply through the month of July. Effective July 1, new families in the 30-50% SMI range, are no longer eligible to receive help under the updated cut off point, but should still apply as it should help establish a waiting list.
The care can be provided by a day care center, family day care provider or relative in the child’s home. The income eligibility criteria is based on the household income and number of people in the family, for a family of four, 30% of the SMI is $31,857.90.
Families who were in the program as of July 1st are not impacted by the change in eligibility rules. As of May 2016, there were 126 children in this program in the town of Southington.
If you know of working families who should be applying for Care 4 Kids, encourage them to do so before August 1 at http://www.ctcare4kids.com/.
Anyone who is looking for day care providers can find a list of resources on the ECCS website – http://www.southingtonearlychildhood.org/resources/.
Background About the Changes:
Changes were made by the federal government to ensure continuity of care for children in Care4Kids without additional funding to cover the cost of those changes. Connecticut estimated a shortfall of more than $30 million created by the changes. Connecticut initially announced its intent to change eligibility from 50% of state median income to 30% of state median income to absorb the cost of the new federal changes.
After opposition from The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance and other organizations, the State will maintain the current eligibility criteria (50% of SMI) for families approved prior to July 1, 2016 in order to ensure continuity for those children. The eligibility criteria were reduced to 30% of SMI until August 1 and then the program will close to new applicants. The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance has recommended that all subsequent families be put on a wait list pending additional funds or the next fiscal year.