Due to the impact of COVID-19, the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Office of Child Care and Regulatory Services has announced updates to its Federal Block Grant (Child Care Subsidy) application process.
The Federal Block Grant program provides funding that enables approved applicants to find and afford child care for children ages newborn to 12.
In this current State of Emergency, the Office of Child Care and Regulatory Services will only process block grant applications for informal child care providers (known as Family, Friends and Neighbor Care). No new block grant applications will be accepted for child care centers.
Because DHS knows that most child care centers have reduced their hours or closed entirely, it is providing financial assistance (a federal block grant):
- For care provided by informal childcare providers (i.e. family members, friends, neighbors not living in the child’s home)
- For children ages newborn to 12 years old
- For families (who are required to report to workplaces that the Governor specified as essential or important to remain open during this State of Emergency)
- Income eligibility determined on a case-by-case basis
Block Grant (Child Care) applications are now available for parents and guardians on the Department of Human Services website Child Care and Regulatory Services page: www.dhs.gov.vi/OCCRS/index.html. The application can be downloaded, filled out and sent in, or it can be picked up, when necessary, between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday), at:
- St. Croix – Office of Child Care, 129 Golden Rock
- St. Thomas – Office of Child Care, Knud Hansen Building, 1303 Hospital Ground
- St. John – DHS Office in Cruz Bay
Completed applications can be scanned and emailed to BlockGrant.Application@dhs.vi.gov or dropped off at secure drop boxes (monitored by security and surveillance) at the previously identified locations.
The completed application will be reviewed by the staff, and applicants will be contacted within five working days. An in-person interview will not be necessary.
Informal Provider (Family, Friend, Neighbor – FFN) Application
Individuals selected by the parents or guardians to take care of children, ages newborn to 12, must also complete the informal or FFN Provider Application, which can be downloaded on the Department of Human Services website’s Child Care and Regulatory Services page at www.dhs.gov.vi/OCCRS/index.html.
To be approved as an informal or FFN provider, the provider cannot live with the parents or children. A clearance by the V.I. Police Department Criminal Records and V.I. Sex Offender Registry is required for all non-family child care providers.
It there are questions, contact the Department of Human Services Office Child Care and Regulatory Services on St. Thomas-St. John at 774-0930 ext. 4181 or on St. Croix at 772-7147.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) exists to provide social services to members in the community with diverse needs. In times of national uncertainty and hardship, DHS acts as a safety net and exists to inspire hope and empower change through non-judgmental, quality delivery of needed services and resources.
Visit the Department of Human Services website at www.dhs.gov.vi for more information.
For more information on COVID-19, the new strain of coronavirus, visit the USVI Department of Health’s website at www.doh.vi.gov/coronavirus or text COVID19USVI to 888777.
Original Source: https://stjohnsource.com/2020/03/24/v-i-human-services-updates-federal-block-grant-that-offers-child-care-subsidies-during-covid-19-crisis/