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Tennessee expands free child care program until mid-August so that many more can now benefit

Governor Bill Lee made the announcement Thursday, saying the change now allows more people to benefit from the program.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) has expand the COVID-19 Essential Employee Child Care Payment Assistance until mid-August.

Governor Bill Lee made the announcement Thursday, saying the change now allows more people to benefit from the program.

“This change makes the program available to essential workers in financial, religious, utility, hotel industries among others,” said Gov. Lee.

If you now qualify but were previously denied you do not need to apply again.

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“Existing applicants who fit into one of these expanded categories, they don’t need to apply again even if their application was previously denied or if their application is still in process,” said Gov. Lee.

As of Monday, TDHS has received more than 10,000 applications for assistance.

To meet the demand TDHS officials say they also expect the number of licensed child care agencies to grow over the coming weeks.