Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison announced today that money is available for a COVID-19 Childcare Relief Scholarship to help low- and moderate-income families meet their needs for childcare for their school-aged children.
The County is allocating an additional $180,000 and launching its second scholarship program to residents outside the City of Poughkeepsie. The City of Poughkeepsie is creating a corresponding program with $90,000 in federal assistance. The programs’ aim is to fill the gap between the number of days students will be physically in school and those days where students are not physically in school.
“We know the enormous pressure families have been put under during the COVID-19 crisis, and balancing challenges created by the need for working parents to have childcare options while schools are providing remote instruction is certainly among them,” said County Executive Molinaro. “This program is critically important in addressing that need, and Dutchess County is committed to making the most of this opportunity to help families facing this dilemma.”
“We are grateful these funds are being made available and look forward to aiding working families cope with these unprecedented times and difficult choices they have been forced to make during this pandemic,” Mayor Rolison said. “The Childcare Relief Scholarship Fund is just one way the government can provide assistance during this time, but it’s an important one.”
Funding for this scholarship program was made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and awarded to the County and City for distribution through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to prevent, prepare for or respond to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.
The City received its own CDBG-CV funds, so its residents are not eligible for County CDBG funds under federal regulations.
Dutchess County and the City of Poughkeepsie are partnering with the Child Care Council of Dutchess and Putnam, Inc., for the implementation of this program.
Scholarships are being awarded for the balance of the academic calendar year by a random selection process to low and moderate income families. The funds will cover 75 percent of the tuition for each child, paid directly to the childcare facility. Families will be responsible for 25 percent of the tuition. Low- and moderate-income Dutchess County families with children enrolled in a regulated childcare program are eligible to apply.
Families are encouraged to consider their available resources and supports, and request the minimal number of days needed to ensure this funding can be maximized. Applicants must either be ineligible for a subsidy through the Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services or the Dyson Scholarship, or they must have applied for and been denied a subsidy from these programs.
Complete Program Guidance, detailed eligibility requirements and application instructions can be found here.