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Governor McKee Highlights Child Care Assistance for Eligible College Students and Working Rhode Islanders

PROVIDENCE, RI Governor Dan McKee today joined the Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary and Chair of the Children's Cabinet Richard Charest, Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) Interim President Dr. Rosemary Costigan, and Department of Human Services Director Kimberly Merolla-Brito at the CCRI Liston Campus in Providence to highlight resources available through the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) that help make child care more affordable for eligible Rhode Islanders.

"I am focused on raising per capita income for all families. However, too many parents face barriers to advancing in their careers through higher education because they do not have the support they need," said Governor McKee. "That's why, in partnership with the General Assembly, I prioritized expanding access to the CCAP program for parents attending college, allowing parents to pursue higher education and build economic security for their families."

"CCAP is a lifeline for college students and working parents striving to attend classes and/or work while raising a child, enabling them to focus on their job, training, or education while knowing their child is well-cared for," said EOHHS Secretary Richard Charest, Chair of the Children's Cabinet. "The program offers financial assistance that makes quality child care accessible and affordable."

"It is critical we provide RI families with a path to economic success. That's why when a parent is looking to increase their education, earn a degree, and find a better job, we want to help support them every step of way," said DHS Director Merolla-Brito.

How CCAP Works: Eligible individuals and families can choose a CCAP-approved child care provider that suits their needs. CCAP directly reimburses the chosen provider up to a specified amount for child care services, with applicants contributing a share based on their income.

Who Qualifies for CCAP: To access CCAP benefits, applicants must meet certain criteria, including:

Meeting the program's income guidelines: https://dhs.ri.gov/media/2711/download?language=en Working or attending a public institute of higher education for a minimum of 20 hours per week Having a child who is a U.S. citizen or legal resident, and is under the age of 13 CCAP also supports individuals participating in select State of Rhode Island work training or apprenticeship programs.

"By providing vital assistance to those balancing college, work, and parenthood, the Child Care Assistance Program removes a financial barrier that for too many of our students is too steep to overcome, and allows them to focus on academic pursuits and earn a college degree that is critical to long term financial security and success," said Dr. Rosemary Costigan, Interim President of CCRI.

CCAP for College Students: For college students striving to attend classes while raising a child, CCAP can provide essential support. Eligible students enrolled in associate or bachelor's degree programs at Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), Rhode Island College (RIC), or University of Rhode Island (URI) may qualify for CCAP benefits. Until the creation of a pilot program in FY22 and the passage of a permanent change to eligibility in FY23, attendance at college was not an eligible activity for CCAP in Rhode Island.

"CCAP doesn't just help with child care costs; it creates a foundation for families to achieve stability and break barriers to success," said Shanell Cook, Director of the Children's Workshop Providence. "The Children's Workshop is proud to collaborate with CCAP to create a positive impact, fostering growth and development for Rhode Island's children and families."

Easy Application Process: Applying for CCAP is straightforward. Interested individuals can visit https://dhs.ri.gov/programs-and-services/child-care to determine their eligibility. The Rhode Island Department of Human Services (DHS) oversees the CCAP program and reviews applications to ensure a seamless process.

To apply for CCAP benefits:

Visit www.healthyrhode.ri.gov OR Complete a DHS-2 application and put it in a secure drop box at a local DHS office near you. For a list of DHS office locations, visit: https://dhs.ri.gov/about-us/dhs-offices

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