KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Due to COVID-19, more people are eligible to receive help because of the pandemic.

The Missouri Department of Social Services has temporarily changed eligibility requirements for childcare assistance – and the deadline is Dec. 31, 2020.

“This was put into place as a result of the CARES Act to provide some relief to those families that are required to be on the job site on a daily basis,” Wendy Doyle, president and CEO of UnitedWE, said.

Doyle said the pandemic has illuminated how challenging it is for parents to be in the workforce when childcare is compromised.

She said women are more likely to drop out of the workforce, since they typically are paid less than men.

“They’re put in a position of, ‘I can’t have my job and care for my children too, because my children are virtual for school and I need to be home to care for them,’”  Doyle said. “Really putting women in jeopardizing position.”

This temporary childcare funding benefit gives families in Missouri another option.

It’s based on a formula. You may be eligible if:

  • You live in Missouri
  • You have a child under 13 (or have a child with special needs)
  • Your household’s monthly income is less than a certain amount (see photo below)

“You can receive childcare funding for if you are working, looking for work or if you are homeless,” Doyle said. “You just need to apply.”

Angel McGee, with the Kansas City MLB Urban Youth Academy, knows how important programs are for kids and families. 

“I think it was very essential that so many of these organizations, including ourselves, to form these virtual classrooms to help out the parents,” McGee said. “We have a lot of working class families that attend in the Academy, especially since we’re housed in the 18th and Vine area.”

She said offering services from student, to parent, to athlete was a game changer for families during the pandemic. 

“It was very pivotal that we all come together and offer services that, essentially, help our community and help our students, so they’re not being left behind by any means,” McGee said.

Doyle said taking advantage of this benefit will also help childcare facilities keep their doors open. A simple supply and demand formula. 

You can apply online on the Missouri Department of Social Services website.