Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Governor Carney Announce Further Child Care Investments and Initiatives

3.21.24 Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Governor Carney Announce Further Child Care Investments and Initiatives

 

Please see the below from Tim Mastro, Deputy Director of Communications, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. A pdf copy of the below can be found here.

NEWS FROM THE DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES  

For more information, contact Tim Mastro, Deputy Director of Communications, (302) 573-0387 or timothy.mastro@delaware.gov.

Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Governor Carney Announce Further Child Care Investments and Initiatives

NEW CASTLE (March 19, 2024) – The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services and Governor John Carney announced additional investments in child care for the upcoming year.

Building on the Governor’s Recommended Budget, which proposes expanding eligibility for Purchase of Care to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and creating over 200 additional ECAP seats, the State will be taking the following actions this year:

Cap family co-payments at 7% of family income and remove all co-pays for families below 150% of the federal poverty level, ensuring families will pay less out of pocket for child care.

Increase compensated absence days from five to 10, providing child care centers and homes with additional stability and predictability in their budgets.

When combined with the proposed investments in the Governor’s Recommended Budget, these actions will help more families pay for child care.

“We know how critical the first five years of a child’s life are to future academic and career success,” said Governor John Carney.  “Investing in our youngest learners has been a priority of ours from day one, and these investments further that commitment.  I want to thank our child care providers for all they do every day to set our children up for future success.”

Since 2017, the administration has more than doubled investments in Purchase of Care and the Early Childhood Assistance Program (ECAP). The Governor’s Recommended Budget for Fiscal Year 2025 proposes investing $83 million in Purchase of Care, compared to $32 million in 2017 and $15.7 million in ECAP, compared to $6.1 million in 2017.

“From birth to 5, the first 1,825 days of a child’s life pave a foundation for the future. That’s why it is essential to support early education with policy and investments – it’s not only good for our kids, but also for our child care workforce and our state’s economy. Affordable child care is a necessity for families. These investments in Delaware’s early education sector show our commitment to families, providers, and the strength of our state,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long.

In addition to these investments, the State worked to keep child care providers open by investing more than $100 million during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are thankful for these additional investments which will help support our youngest Delawareans and families,” said Division of Social Services Director Tom Hall. “These program enhancements are a result of conversations and feedback with families, providers, and our federal partners. These investments will help make the purchase of care program more accessible and give providers the boost they need.”

For more information on child care, visit Delaware’s Child Care Consumer Education Website at https://www.mychildde.org/.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Child DE is a user-friendly website that brings together resources to help families, providers and other caretakers make informed choices for the children of Delaware. The goal of My Child DE is to help these groups feel welcome, informed and empowered to engage, learn and take the next steps needed to support children.