HELENA — The state has authorized millions of dollars in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to help health care workers with child care costs.
$5.5 million in federal funding will be used to alleviate childcare costs for families with parents who work in some of the highest-demand fields during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 12-month program will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Parents and guardians who work in health care, behavioral health, disability services, and long-term care settings are eligible for the program.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a childcare shortage nationwide, driving up prices and availability. Jamie Palagi, Administrator for the Early Childhood and Family Support Division at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, says the goal is to take some of the stress off of critical health care workers.
“For those workers that are in health care providing patient care who also have children, we wanted to make sure that they were not also having to worry about paying for childcare or finding childcare if that was a need for that family,” says Palagi.
Priority will be given to working parents who are earning between 185% and 250% of the federal poverty level. Families will also have to cover a $100 per month co-pay.
Interested guardians and parents can call 1-844-406-2772 or visit childcare.mt.gov in order to start the process and check eligibility.