Maine & New Hampshire: Additional State Relief Programs

ME Child Care Subsidy Program: Additional Assistance for Essential Workers

The CARES Act included additional funding of $3.5 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) which funds state child care programs. This, in turn, provided approximately $11 million in additional funding to the Maine Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP).

The CCSP is a program in place to assist eligible families in Maine with paying for child care while they are going to work, to school, or while they are participating in a job training program. As families may have primary caregivers that hold jobs as essential workers, working outside of their home during the COVID-19 crisis, this subsidy program has made provisions to assist in meeting their child care needs.

Program Eligibility 

Eligible families generally have to meet certain income guidelines; however, the CARES Act has temporarily lifted this requirement for families with all parents or guardians holding jobs as essential employees until June 30, 2020 (or two weeks after the end of the civil emergency, if sooner).

Your child care provider may be a licensed child care center, licensed family child care home, or an adult who comes to your home to provide care, providing they are not a relative. If your child care provider is not currently accepting subsidy, they will need to complete a CCSP Provider Agreement. This agreement outlines the conditions for receiving subsidy payment from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Applying for the Program

To apply for the CCSP, fill out the application form and return it with your supporting documentation by mail, fax, or email. All information needed for remittance is on the application.

Supporting documentation will include items such as proof of citizenship and residency, the completed Employer Information Sheet within the application, and income verification (which is still required even with the thresholds currently waived).

 

Additional Program Information

An additional program provision makes licensed child care providers and license-exempt child care providers participating in the CCSP eligible to receive a one-time stipend. And applications for grants to aid child care providers resume operations after the civil emergency will soon be available. The Maine DHHS Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) will issue details as they become available.

For questions or additional information, contact the OCFS by phone at 1-877-680-5866 or 207-624-7999, or by email at CCSP.DHHS@maine.gov.

 

Governor Sununu Allots Initial $400M to Main Street Relief Fund for NH Small Businesses

New Hampshire Governor, Chris Sununu, has authorized an initial $400 million of the State’s flexible CARES Act relief funding toward the New Hampshire Main Street Relief Fund. The Fund will assist eligible small-businesses in New Hampshire that generated less than $20 million in 2019 revenue and have been affected by COVID-19.

The initial amount, $400 million, is an estimate, subject to change once relief needs are more accurately assessed through the prequalification process. The prequalification application is mandatory to receive relief through the Fund, and must be completed by May 29th. Prequalification does not, however, guarantee relief eligibility or receipt of funds. A formal NH Main Street Relief Fund application will still have to be filled out once released (see important dates below).

Through the prequalification process, data will be gathered on the applicants’ possible or estimated lost revenue due to COVID-19 and on other federal relief, such as Paycheck Protection Program loans, applicants are receiving. The full program eligibility and criteria will be set based on the data received during prequalification.

 

Important Dates

Deadline to Submit Completed Prequalification Form – May 29, 2020

Fund Specifics Announced – June 1, 2020

Application Period for the Fund – June 1, 2020 through June 8, 2020

Anticipated Date for Release of Funds – June 15, 2020

Additional information about the New Hampshire Main Street Relief Fund and contact information for questions may be found on the State of NH Governor’s Office website.

 

by Holly Ferguson, CPA