Tennessee expands free child care program until mid-August so that many more can now benefit

Updated: May. 22, 2020 at 8:50 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) has expanded the COVID-19 Essential Employee Child Care Payment Assistance until mid-August.

Governor Bill Lee made the announcement Thursday, saying the change now allows more people to benefit from the program.

“This change makes the program available to essential workers in financial, religious, utility, hotel industries among others,” said Gov. Lee.

If you now qualify but were previously denied you do not need to apply again.

“Existing applicants who fit into one of these expanded categories, they don’t need to apply again even if their application was previously denied or if their application is still in process,” said Gov. Lee.

As of Monday, TDHS has received more than 10,000 applications for assistance.

To meet the demand TDHS officials say they also expect the number of licensed child care agencies to grow over the coming weeks.

The Boy and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis says they’ll be opening up their Ira Samelson Jr Club for this reason.

Governor Lee says the expansion of the program will help as the state slowly reopens.

“So we can keep essential employees on the job especially thorough out this summer as we ramp our economy back up here in Tennessee.”

If you are an essential employee and would like to apply for the program click below.

If you want to see the list of child care providers click below.

For all other information on the program click below.

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