NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - New Hanover County has allocated $1.3 million to help families with child care and housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Childcare is a major concern for parents since school in the county will be virtual. Child care assistance could help those parents who work full time and can’t be at home while their child is learning remotely.
“We recognized early on and we were in the planning stages of working together with the school system, working with some of our daycare centers in the area, and some of our faith based communities,” said Tonya Jackson with the NHC Department of Social Services. “And having those meetings and starting those conversations to see if we can figure out how to be the most impact and also working with our partners.”
Here’s how it works:
Assistance will be available for families with children between the ages of 3 and 12, proof that there is a need because of COVID-19, and a household income at or below 300% of the federal poverty level. You need to fill out an application and take it to your childcare provider for consideration.
That child care provider must be licensed and part of the program. If not, child care facilities can apply and turn the application in at the Department of Health and Human Services building on Greenfield Street in Wilmington.
“Right now the assistance is coinciding with what the school system has determined,” said Jackson. “We are actually ready to go up until about 12 weeks should we need to you to help the families make the transition after the first nine weeks but yes right now this program is just going siding with the school and their instruction.”
This program is a first-come, first-serve basis. The earlier you apply, the more likely you will get help.
“This program is here and it’s absolutely here to assist,” said Jackson. “And that’s exactly what our goal is to do, to assist our parents. If they are finding themselves and some type of constraint and they think that this program might can be of assistance to them please please feel free to reach out to their current provider or another provider.”
To learn more about NHC childcare assistance and the housing assistance, click here.
According to a press release from Governor Roy Cooper’s office regarding childcare help, there is a childcare hotline for North Carolina families. The number is 1-888-600-1685. Those in need of childcare for children up to age 12 can call the hotline and will be connected directly to care options in their community that meet their families’ needs.
The hotline is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is a collaboration of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina Child Care Resource and Referral network. Care will be offered by licensed child care providers who agree to meet NCDHHS health and safety guidelines.