Last updated May 27, 2020

In March, child care centers in the Commonwealth of Kentucky closed in order to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. As a result, our state and federal leaders have worked to secure much needed support for the child care community and those they serve. Through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Kentucky received an additional $67.2 million in Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funding. Continued federal investments in child care will ensure child care centers are able to withstand closures during the pandemic and to safely reopen and boost Kentucky’s workforce and serve kids and families.

Additionally, home visiting programs and other early childhood programming have had to adapt services to comply with physical distancing and stay-at-home guidelines while still providing important supports for families with young children.

Maintaining the child care sector and supports for families with young children requires continued federal and state investment and action to support the following: 

Support essential workers by providing child care

Essential workers can access child care services at a Limited Duration Center (LDC) in their community by contacting your employer or calling the Division of Regulated Child Care at 502-564-7962. Find additional information pertaining to Limited Duration Centers via the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Emergency child care is provided for the children of essential workers, including:

  • Health care workers
  • First Responders, like law enforcement, fire departments, and EMS 
  • Correction officers 
  • Nursing home workers 
  • Grocery store workers 
  • Department of Community Based Services (DCBS) workers 
  • Domestic violence shelter and rape crisis center workers
  • Utility employees

Continue Child Care Assistance Program payments 

Kentucky should continue payments for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) based on enrollment and not on attendance during the course of the pandemic.

  • If a center has a child receiving CCAP who is currently enrolled in their program, the program will be able to receive CCAP for that child regardless if the program is open or closed.  
  • Kentucky’s Division of Child Care will be covering the cost of CCAP parent co-pays during this crisis to avoid putting additional financial burden on the families.

If you are a child care provider with questions regarding CCAP billing, please email CCAP billing staff at

Provide ongoing guidance on reopening of child care 

On May 7th, Governor Beshear announced Phase 2 of reopening the Commonwealth’s economy, including the reopening of some child care centers at reduced capacity tentatively on June 15th. The state has issued Healthy at Work guidance as child care centers consider reopening and serving families.

Timeline For Reopening Childcare Programs:

  • JUNE 8, 2020 — In-home childcare programs (Type 2, Certified, and Registered Providers) may
    reopen subject to the requirements below; Limited Duration Childcare programs
    will remain open.
  • JUNE 15, 2020 — Center-based licensed childcare programs and day camps may reopen to all
    patrons subject to the requirements below; Limited Duration Childcare programs will close.

Support for child care center small business owners 

Child care centers that employ fewer than 500 persons are eligible as small businesses to consider the following loan options provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in the federal CARES Act: 

  • Payroll Protect Program (PPP) Loan

The PPP Loan is designed to permit workers to stay home during the COVID-19 outbreak, but stay on their company’s payroll. Companies that keep their workers on during the pandemic can receive up to 8 weeks of loan assistance. PPP Loans can also be used for expenses like company utilities, rent, and/or mortgage payments. If companies hold on to their workers and keep their wages status quo, the loans are forgiven by the federal government. Child care programs can take full advantage of the loan forgiveness available by:

    1. Spending funds on qualifying forgivable expenses, including payroll, mortgage interest payments, rent, or utilities. The SBA requires that at least 75 percent of the forgiven amount be used for payroll.
    2. Maintaining (or quickly rehiring) employees and maintaining wages. The amount forgiven will be reduced if employers lay off staff and/or reduce staff wages by more than 25 percent, unless cuts are promptly eliminated. 
    3. Documenting how loan funds are spent. Programs will have to show appropriate documentation to verify that they maintained their staff and wages and to verify any payments made on mortgage, rent, or utilities.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Cash Advance

In the EIDL cash advance, small businesses can request an advance of up to $10,000 to help maintain payroll and make rent or mortgage payments during temporary closures or losses in revenue. Funds will be disbursed within three days of a successful application and will not have to be repaid. Small businesses with less than 500 employees are eligible including sole proprietorships (with or without employees), independent contractors, and self-employed persons as well as for profit businesses and nonprofits.

It is important to note the following:

  • If programs receive an EIDL cash advance and a PPP loan, the amount forgiven will be reduced by the value of the cash advance.
  • Any remaining portion of the PPP loan not immediately forgiven is automatically turned into a 2-year loan with an interest rate of 1 percent. Loan payments will be deferred for 6 months.

To access more information about the PPP and EIDL Loan options, including how to apply, view this webinar recording

Continue supports for the HANDS home visiting program

Kentucky’s Health Access Nurturing Development Services (HANDS) is a home visiting program for pregnant moms-to-be and new parents that supports all areas of a baby’s development. HANDS providers have shared that intake for new clients is closed, reimbursement rates have been reduced, and have not been able to use their normal curriculum via telehealth purposes.

On May 20th, the Beshear Administration announced emergency regulations that allows HANDS providers to now admit new families into the program via telehealth, use the curriculum virtually with currently enrolled families, and support their staff at a previously contracted rate. During a public health emergency when families are especially vulnerable, these fundamental services should remain available and easily accessible. Read a full statement from Kentucky Youth Advocates.

Advocates are looking for a $100 million federal allocation for MIECHV to help continue Kentucky’s services during the pandemic. Additionally, Cabinet for Health and Family Services should work with the Governor to issue an executive order that allows flexibility for these critical services, similar to what is being done in Ohio.

Next steps:

  • TAKE ACTION by asking Congress to continue federal investments in child care to ensure child care centers are able to withstand closures during COVID-19 and reopen to boost Kentucky’s workforce and serve kids and families.
  • TAKE ACTION by asking Congress to boost federal investment in MIECHV to ensure families with young children can access the services they need to be healthy and safe.
  • For additional information on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the child child community and those they serve, check out our recent Making Kids Count Podcast episode.
  • For additional information on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the HANDS program, check out our recent Making Kids Count Podcast episode.


View our COVID-19 and Kentucky Kids webpage to stay up-to-date on ongoing advocacy efforts.