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New Benefit: Pandemic EBT

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Over the next few weeks, the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) will be issuing a one-time benefit to help families with children between the ages of 5 and 18 who received free or reduced-price lunch during the 2019-2020 school year to help pay for food during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the Pandemic EBT benefit, families will receive up to $291 per child in addition to any other services they are receiving and may only be used to purchase food items.

 

How will families receive their P-EBT benefits?

Most families recently or currently participating in food assistance (SNAP), child care assistance (subsidy), or cash assistance (TANF) programs will automatically receive their Pandemic EBT benefit on their electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card.

Families that are not actively participating in these programs but whose children receive free or reduced-price meals will be mailed a Kansas Benefits Card in the next few weeks with the benefit pre-loaded on the card. If these families do not receive a Kansas Benefits Card by June 5th, they may need to provide additional information to DCF. These families should watch for a confidential weblink provided by their school district.

 

How to use it?

The card functions similar to a debit card and can be used to purchase only eligible food items at EBT authorized retailers. Non-food items may not be purchased with this card.

 

For any additional questions, call 1-888-369-4777.

For a printable brochure, click here.


 

DCF Hero Relief Program

Department for Children and Families Announces Hero Relief Program

Program provides child care subsidies to eligible health care workers, first responders and other essential workers

 

Governor Laura Kelly and DCF Secretary Laura Howard today announced efforts to support parents and childcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Hero Relief Program” expands DCF’s child care assistance subsidies for families and provides financial support directly to child care providers. The new program specifically targets health care workers, first responders and other essential workers.

“We know these essential workers are risking their health every day to protect others,” Kelly said. “The Hero Relief Program is our way of saying ‘we’ve got your back’ by making sure families have access to quality affordable child care.”

Beginning Monday, April 20, child care subsidies will be available to essential workers who financially qualify.

The list includes:

    • Health care workers (including RNs, other medical professionals and health care support workers, hospital and laboratory staff)
    • First responders (including law enforcement, fire and rescue, and other public safety workers)
    • Food and agriculture workers
    • Judicial branch (essential services)
    • National Guard
    • Child and adult protective service specialists
    • Child care providers caring for children of eligible workers listed above

In order to qualify, families must have countable gross income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level. For an average family of four that equals a monthly income of $5,458. Families will receive the full DCF subsidy amount based on their family size, with no family-share deduction.

“During a time when these everyday heroes are working long hours, we hope this program helps relieve some of the financial burden they’re experiencing,” Howard said. “It’s our duty to support families during this uncertain time so we encourage families to apply.”

The Hero Relief Program also supports child care providers by providing a menu of stipends and grants to assist during the pandemic.

Grants may include:

    • Sustainability stipends for all KDHE-Licensed child care and relative providers to help pay for ongoing expenses like food, supplies, labor and rent/mortgage.
    • Revenue replacement subsidies for DCF enrolled child care providers
    • Supply grants to assist with pandemic related expenses like gloves, disinfectants, soap and other necessary items.
    • Emergency worker support bonuses – a one-time bonus to providers who care for children of health care workers and first responders.

For more information and for instructions on how to apply, visit KSHeroRelief.com​.

For more information on COVID-19 visit: www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus​.

 


 

KDHE COVID-19 Resource Center

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has created an online resource center updated daily with Kansas-specific guidance to help communities work together on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) planning. Included are resources designed specifically to support families and licensed child care facilities in their planning efforts.

For general questions related to COVID-19, review this FAQs document created by the Department for Children and Families (DCF) or call the KDHE’s hotline at 866-534-3463.

For the latest information and resources, please visit and subscribe to Kansas’ COVID-19 Updates page and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

 


 

Be Counted!

The 2020 U.S. Census is fast approaching!

 

You can help make sure the children and families in your community are ready to be counted on April 1st.

 

    • To learn how to support families with young children, click here.
    • To learn how the census helps shape the future of your community, click here.
    • To learn how to take the 2020 Census, watch the video below.
    • To review some frequently asked questions regarding the census, click here.
For additional information and resources, visit KansasCounts.org.

 

 

Foster Care Child Care

If you are a foster caregiver for children in the custody of the Secretary for the Department for Children and Families, these resources will help you navigate the Foster Care Child Care (FC-CC) program. The FC-CC program is a joint effort between Prevention and Protection Services (PPS) and Economic and Employment Services (EES). Child care benefits are issued to you on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which you will use like a debit card to pay your child care provider.

Our Tomorrows

Every day, we hear stories of resilient families that have bounced back from great challenges.
Stories of hope…and stories of struggle. Through these stories we are gathering nuggets of wisdom about the ways in which things could, and should, be going better… to make OUR TOMORROWS brighter.

About the Our Tomorrows Project
Parents, children, aunts, uncles, partners – all of us have families, and all of us have something important to share about our lives and interactions. We know there’s much to be learned from all kinds of stories, with all kinds of outcomes. We’re hopeful that the stories we collect will be used to shape policy and programming decisions in your community and across the country. Through OUR TOMORROWS, you get the opportunity to share and reflect, and we get to hear your unique perspective. Using a story-based research tool called SenseMaker, we will examine the patterns and stories in-depth, allowing us to gain new understanding about what families need to thrive. Your contribution to the story collection will make a difference.

 

November 2018 DCF Child Care Rate Adjustment

Effective November 1, 2018, the Department for Children and Families (DCF) is adjusting child care maximum provider rates for child care recipients.  The changes will begin to affect child care benefits for some families as early as their November allotment, other families will see their benefit rate change take effect at their next case change or review.  DCF anticipates investing an estimated $5.7 million dollars annually to make this change, an increase of 16% in annual child care expenditures, bringing subsidy rates to the 65th percentile based upon the statewide average indicated from data within the most recent market analysis completed in Kansas.  This rate adjustment will increase the maximum allowable rates for most of the provider rate categories in the state.   With this adjustment, most families will see a decrease in the difference between their child care benefits and the rate their child care provider charges, thereby reducing their out of pocket expense for child care.

It is expected that this adjustment will help increase access to high quality care for low income children in Kansas.

Department for Children and Families

 

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