Gov. Rounds announces child care assistance

Gov. Rounds announces child care assistance Gov. Mike Rounds announced a new program May 11 to provide child care assistance for recently unemployed South Dakotans while they search for work, beginning June 1. The temporary program is one of several child care initiatives to be funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. "There are growing numbers of South Dakota families who need help paying for child care while the parents look for jobs, and this program will be a tremendous help," Gov. Rounds said.  "When a family member loses a job, it creates enormous financial strain. This program will allow those families to breathe easier and focus on finding new employment." Administered by the Department of Social Services, in partnership with the Department of Labor, the program offers eligible South Dakotans certificates redeemable for up to two months of free child care. Interested parents can contact any Department of Labor field office to verify eligibility and fill out applications. A list of DOL field offices can be found at http://dol.sd.gov/localoffices.  The U.S. Department of Human Services will provide South Dakota with $5.4 million in ARRA funds for temporary child care assistance.  In addition to providing free child care for recently unemployed South Dakotans, the Department of Social Services will use the funding to reduce co-payments for families receiving child care assistance through an existing program, to develop grant opportunities for child care providers, and to offer grants for rural school-age programs. Details on those programs will be released as they become available.  For more information on the Department of Social Services' Division of Child Care, call 1-800-227-3020 or visit www.dss.sd.gov/childcare.

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