As Georgia’s economy slowly reopens, essential workers have been stocking shelves in crowded grocery stores, farming and delivering food door-to-door despite the threat of COVID-19.
Now the state’s childcare and parent services program, or CAPS, is providing child care scholarships to families working in the food supply chain. That includes everyone from farmers to Uber and GrubHub drivers. The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning said it has set aside 500 slots for essential workers.
The deputy commissioner for the CAPS program, Elisabetta Kasfir, told “Morning Edition” host Lisa Rayam that workers need to meet certain income and hourly thresholds.
“They have to be working at least 24 hours a week in this essential services occupation,” Kasfir said.
CAPS officials say Georgia farmers applying for federal coronavirus relief aid under the CARES Act are also included.
“They would get the equivalent of between $5,500 and $6,500 a year in childcare assistance,” she said. “We are actually issuing scholarships for this particular priority group for three months.”
If Georgians are still in the heat of a public health emergency after those three months expire, Kasfir said the scholarship window will be extended.
Initially, in April, DECAL had already expanded the scholarships for emergency first responders and healthcare workers.
Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report.