Move to 140 percent FPL Aug. 4 will serve 19,000 more children, 11,000 more families each month
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 23, 2014) – Gov. Steve Beshear is increasing the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) for Fiscal Year 2015 beginning Aug. 4, 2014, to 140 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), and then to 150 percent of FPL beginning July 1, 2015.
The program provides access to quality child care for eligible Kentucky parents who work or attend education and training programs. In May 2014, the program served approximately 12,000 children in 6,000 families. By increasing eligibility to 140 percent FPL on Aug. 4, the program is expected to serve approximately 31,000 children in 17,000 families each month by the end of Fiscal Year 2015.
“We need our families to have certainty in their lives when it comes to child care services,” Beshear said. “CCAP is a critical program for thousands of moms and dads raising children across the Commonwealth. By restoring funding and raising eligibility for the coming year, we are pledging our support to our families despite ongoing budget cuts and shortfalls.”
In April 2013, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) was forced to lower the income eligibility for Child Care Assistance Program recipients from 150 percent to 100 percent FPL as a result of an $86.6 million shortfall in the FY 14 budget of the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS).
In his recommended budget to the 2014 General Assembly, Beshear proposed full funding to restore the program to 150 percent of FPL for both years of the upcoming biennium, which would have allowed increased eligibility to start July 1, 2014.
The General Assembly, however, reduced the funding for Fiscal Year 2015, which begins July 1, 2014, from $58.1 million to $38.6 million, leaving the state no option other than to delay accepting new applications.
The full expansion to 150 percent FPL was funded in the second year, Fiscal Year 2016.
“The most direct path to a stronger Kentucky, the very best thing Kentucky can do for its future, is to build a healthier, more educated population and workforce, and that begins with getting our children off to a good start,” Beshear said. “That’s why early childhood education and development have long been at the top of my priorities.”
Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Audrey Haynes noted: “Our highest priority for restoring this program is to cover as many families as possible with the funding we have. While it was anticipated that we could only restore the program to 125 percent FPL in the first year, we are able to increase that to 140 percent, helping approximately 19,000 additional children in 11,000 families.”
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services will soon be sending notices to providers outlining the application process.
“We are thrilled that Gov. Beshear found additional dollars in a tight biennial budget to enhance the income eligibility for the Child Care Assistance Program,” said DCBS Commissioner Teresa James. “By expanding the program to individuals whose income is up to 140 percent FPL, the program will be able to help more working families who rely on it to help with child care costs while they are at work or school. We will work closely with child care providers statewide to implement this expansion as quickly and seamlessly as possible.”