Delaware Governor and Department of Health and Social Services Take Steps to Reduce Childcare Costs

The state’s Purchase of Care program undergoes changes as the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, along with Gov. John Carney, make the announcement.

The new measures will limit the amount families have to pay for healthcare to 7% of their income. Additionally, families who fall below 150% of the federal poverty level will no longer have to pay any copays at all. This change will benefit over 1,000 children by eliminating their copayments entirely.

According to Division of Social Services Director Tom Hall, the state will provide increased support for childcare providers by increasing compensated absence days from five to 10.

Hall emphasizes the importance of families having access to safe and high-quality childcare. She believes that this is a crucial factor for families to achieve success and to be able to fully dedicate their time and energy to work. Having the peace of mind that their children are well-cared for allows parents to focus on their professional commitments without any worries.

Carney’s recommended FY25 budget includes several important measures aimed at improving access to early childhood education. One key proposal is to expand eligibility for the Purchase of Care program to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. This change would allow more families to qualify for financial assistance to help cover the costs of child care. Additionally, the budget plan also includes the creation of over 200 additional seats in the Early Childhood Assistance Program, further increasing the availability of high-quality early education options for Delaware families. These moves demonstrate Carney’s commitment to supporting early childhood development and ensuring that all children have the opportunity to thrive.

The budget is also aiming for an increase in the Purchase of Care funds, with a proposed amount of $83 million, as opposed to the $32 million allocated in 2017. Additionally, the budget is seeking $15.7 million for ECAP, significantly higher than the $6.1 million provided in 2017.

Hall’s objective is to enhance the affordability of childcare.

According to Hall, the Purchase of Care program offers high-quality childcare services to families in the state through an extensive network of providers. Currently, there are nearly 14,000 children registered in the program.

According to Hall, this program aims to support families who are striving for upward mobility. It allows parents to dedicate their energy to work or education, with the peace of mind that their children are being well looked after.

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