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TDHS now providing childcare relief for families, providers

The Tennessee Department of Human Services will increase payment assistance rates by 10 percent.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Additional help for parents paying for childcare started Friday. The Tennessee Department of Human Services will increase payment assistance rates by 10 percent across all categories of care in their childcare certificate program.

Under the program, the state pays a reimbursement rate directly to childcare providers, so participating families will be paying less than what they usually do to cover tuition expenses.

TDHS requires those enrolled in the program to meet income and work or education requirements.

“We're hoping this increase … can reduce the portion that they [families] have to pay out of pocket to cover their childcare tuition, said Sky Arnold, press secretary for TDHS. “Also, we really hope that this rate increase provides some important childcare support for our childcare providers.”

The hope is to help parents in navigating the balance of raising a family and holding a job.

The increase should also help childcare providers stay open and remain available for families, especially ones recovering financially from the pandemic.

In addition to the increased rates, TDHS will provide additional help for childcare agencies that care for children with disabilities or special needs.

The 10 percent increase that starts today is expected to stay in place unless childcare rates continue to rise.

This story was originally reported by WSMV in Nashville.