Governor Newsom Signs Executive Order to Provide Expanded Access to Child Care for Essential Workers During COVID-19 Response

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Order will ensure guidance on prioritizing enrollment of children of essential critical infrastructure workers

Order will suspend restrictions on access to state-subsidized child care programs

Order also allows California to take advantage of new federal flexibility to provide pandemic SNAP benefits to children to reduce food insecurity

SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that will facilitate child care for children of essential critical infrastructure workers by allowing the California Department of Education and California Department of Social Services the flexibility to waive certain programmatic and administrative requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The waivers will focus on current eligibility and enrollment priorities that prevent child care and afterschool programs from serving children of essential infrastructure workers. The waiver will allow eligibility for child care to prioritize essential workers, including health care professionals, emergency response personnel, law enforcement, and grocery workers.

Additionally, the order states that the Department of Education and the Department of Social Services shall jointly develop and issue guidance on how the essential worker prioritization will roll out, as well as guidance on how child care programs and providers can safely provide care. This guidance will be issued no later than April 7, 2020.

Priority for abused and neglected children will not be impacted.

The order also allows the state to take advantage of new federal flexibility to provide pandemic Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to children. Specifically, the California Department of Social Services and the California Department of Education will share data and information to identify students who may be eligible for the pandemic SNAP benefit, to reduce food insecurity and ensure children receive nutritious meals at low or no cost.

A copy of the Governor’s executive order can be found here and the text can be found here.

Learn more about the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts here. Visit covid19.ca.gov for critical steps Californians can take to stay healthy, and resources available to those impacted by the outbreak.

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