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Sunday, July 3, 2022

West Virginia Legislature Blog

Interim Report: The Joint Committee on Health

The Joint Committee on Health heard about childcare in West Virginia today during Interim Meetings. First, they received a brief overview of childcare regulations in the state. The regulation of childcare began in 1942. Childcare subsidiaries began in 1869. In the 1970’s there was a push to make sure childcare providers met specific education requirements.

Currently, the state has 16,777 families who are eligible to receive subsidized childcare. However, only 25 percent of these families are receiving care. It was stated that some families use private or at-home care, which is why such a low percentage receives subsidized childcare through the state.

The main source of funding for childcare is the Child Care and Development Fund. Funds received through this federal and state program must be expended each year. The program provides $54.3 million. Over 2200 families are served.

After COVID began, the state received $22 million of CARES funds for childcare services. An additional $240 was provided through the American Rescue Plan funding to help support to improving the affordability, availability, and quality of childcare. These funds helped stabilize the childcare market. The funds were used to expand services, especially in rural areas. The funds were used to provide more affordable care and more subsidies. Funds were also used to retain staff and provide more professional development. Funds were also used to educate the community about childcare. Once the ARP funds are used, other funds will need to be used for these services. These funds will have to come from grants or other means.

Watch here.

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