Amid the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, the Louisiana Department of Education today announced it would provide subsidized child care to essential critical infrastructure personnel for an additional 30 days.
The extension, which comes a month after the Department opened the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) to these workers regardless of income, applies to families already receiving services, as well as to families who continue to seek services.
The Department also today announced it would continue to pay child care providers who participate in the CCAP based on the number of children enrolled, not the number of children attending each day, through the month of May to help offset the financial impacts of the public health crisis. According to a recent report from the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, 78 percent of child care providers have lost revenue, totaling at least $1.7 million so far.
"If families can keep children at home, they are urged to do so. But for those who are on the frontlines and who do not have this option, we must continue to ensure affordable access to child care," said Assistant Superintendent Jessica Baghian, who oversees early childhood education. "We must also support child care providers who, already operating on razor-thin financial margins, are experiencing serious, negative impacts as a result of COVID-19."
The Governor's emergency proclamations to close school facilities to students have not included child care and early learning centers. Early learning centers continue to make individual decisions about whether to close their businesses. To date, 69 percent have closed. Those that have chosen to remain open have been advised to follow health and safety guidance from the Governor's Office and public health officials, including limiting group sizes to 10 or fewer children and adults.
The licensed child care centers and the registered and certified family child care and in-home providers that remain open are primarily serving children of critical personnel.
To date, more than 3,700 critical personnel have applied for the CCAP for their children. Of those applications, over 3,800 children have been approved for service.
As of now, applications will continue to be accepted through the month of May. In addition to childcare providers and staff, essential critical infrastructure workers in the following industries are eligible:
Communication and Information
Defense Industrial Base
Energy (electrical industry, petroleum, natural and propane gas worker)
Food and Agriculture
Health Care/Public Health
Law Enforcement, Public Safety, First Responders
Other Community Based Government
Transportation and Logistics
Waste and Wastewater
Upon approval, initial certification will be valid for 30 days. The Department will reassess applications as it continues to monitor the public health crisis.
Learn more about eligible workers.
Access the CCAP Pandemic Protective Services Crisis Application.
View subsidy rates.
View a map of child care providers.
Access additional COVID-19 information and resources.