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Division of Human Resources

Child care assistance for essential staff

As part of the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) funding, the Department of Social Service (DSS) is offering child care assistance for parents who have been deemed essential staff and are required to report to work during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

How to Qualify 

In order to qualify, you must be currently working at an essential business or government agency, you must need child care so you may continue to work, and you must complete a child care application [pdf]. You do not have to meet any income guidelines for this time-limited program. 

Questions 

If you have questions about the voucher or whether you meet the criteria for assistance, please contact Christi Jeffcoat at (803) 898-2741 or christi.jeffcoat@dss.sc.gov.

 How to Apply

To apply, please complete the child care application [pdf] and email it to christi.jeffcoat@dss.sc.gov. In the email, please include your first and last name, the best phone number to reach you, and the occupation/business where you work.

How to Find Child Care

If you need help finding available child care, please contact the South Carolina Department of Social Services Child Care Resource & Referral Network at 1 (888) 335-1002 or go to the website after hours at www.sc-ccrr.org and submit a referral indicating your need to find an opening in a child care facility and someone will assist you.

 For more information about DSS’ response to COVID-19 related to child care, please visit our child care website at www.scchildcare.org.

FAQ

In order to qualify, you must be currently working at an essential business or government agency, you must need child care so you may continue to work, and you must complete a child care application. You do not have to meet any income guidelines for this time-limited program.

To apply, please complete the child care application [pdf] and email it to christi.jeffcoat@dss.sc.gov. In the email, please include your first and last name, the best phone number to reach you, and the occupation/business where you work.

If a parent qualifies, vouchers will be paid directly to the child care providers. The SC Voucher system has a maximum weekly provider rate that can be paid. Providers that are in the ABC Quality program already have an established weekly rate based on their quality level. DSS will not charge a weekly co- pay per child, however parents may be asked to pay for the difference between what the child care provider charges and the voucher rate.

All license-exempt child care programs operating during this time of COVID-19 Emergency and serving children all day, must have an emergency temporary license to operate. Please contact Child Care Licensing at (803) 898-9020 or email Cynthia Lara at cynthia.lara@dss.sc.gov to start this process.

License-exempt providers that have received a temporary license to operate during this time of emergency are able to receive vouchers for eligible children.

The purpose of this program is to provide child care assistance to essential workers so that they are able to place their kids in child care while they report to work during the COVID-19 emergency. If a parent’s child care provider is closed and they need to choose another provider so they can continue to report to work, they can apply for this category of child care.

This category of child care is being provided from the point of approval through August 30, 2020.

This category of child care is not retroactive. DSS will pay from the point of approval through August 30, 2020.


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