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Tennessee Provides Free Childcare During the Pandemic: Find Out Who is Eligible

The Tennessee Department of Health Services is providing free access to childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, created during the State of Emergency, is a partnership between the Department, YMCA, and the Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee.

Here is everything you need to know about the COVID-19 Essential Employee Child Care Payment Assistance program to find out whether you are eligible to get free access to childcare during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you need help with family law matters during the COVID-19 pandemic, speak with our attorneys at Law Offices of Burch, Morrison, & Stewart. Previously, we talked about handling child custody during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who is Eligible to Receive Free Child Care in Tennessee?

To be eligible for free childcare, a parent must be an employee who is providing essential services during the State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Essential workers who are eligible to apply include:

What is the Qualifying Age and Income to be Eligible for Free Child Care?

Free childcare is available only to qualifying essential workers who have children between the ages of 7 and 12. The worker’s income is not considered when determining eligibility for the COVID-19 Essential Employee Child Care Payment Assistance program.

Can You Apply if You are Already Receiving Child Care Payment Assistance?

If you are receiving childcare payment assistance or Smart Steps childcare benefits, you do not need to apply even if you are considered an essential worker. Your assistance will continue as is with no additional steps on your end.

What Documents Do You Need to Apply for the Program?

In order to submit your application for COVID-19 Essential Employee Child Care Payment Assistance, you need to provide at least one verification for each of the following:

How Long Can I Receive Free Childcare Upon Approval?

If your application is approved, you will be eligible to receive free childcare from April 15 through June 14, 2020. You and your childcare agency will receive a termination notice prior to the termination of your free child care.

If you would like to continue assistance, consider applying for Smart Steps. However, this category of assistance in Tennessee has different eligibility criteria.

How Will My Child Care Agency be Paid?

Upon approval of your application, the Department will send a certificate authorizing free childcare to your licensed child care agency. If your provider is not currently participating in this program, it can enroll.

If you are eligible to receive assistance and need help with applying for free child care, contact our Manchester-based family law attorneys. Reach out to the Law Offices of Burch, Morrison, & Stewart to discuss your circumstances. Call at (931) 954-1066 to get a consultation.

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