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New guidance announced for child care, unemployment decreases

Changes to emergency child care regulations were recently announced by Eric Friedlander, secretary of of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, that are said to help balance the safety and health of children and their caregivers.

Judge-Executive Dan Mosley went over new guidance suggested by Friedlander in a weekly update on Monday.

He said “Journey to a New Kentucky: Changes to Child-Care Facilities Guidance” released from the cabinet addresses “increasing capacity and the pre-existing shortages of registered and certified providers while continuing to enforce child care standards.”

Among the provisions in the new guidance:

  • Help for parents to meet needs of non-traditional instruction days by aiding background checks on providers and ensuring staffers are masked, using proper hygiene, enforcing health checks and small groups; and have a plan in place for when someone tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Expanding the number of allowed children to 15 for licensed child care facilities.
  • Certified homes, licensed infant and 1-year-old classrooms may return to typical group sizes.
  • $2,500 startup incentive bonus through the federal CARES Act to encourage new providers.

For more information, visit chfs.ky.gov

Mosley also gave a brief update related to unemployment benefits in Harlan County, where he said many locals have received the help they needed.

“Our office has been able to assist more than 250 individuals with this process who were having issues due to the state’s antiquated system,” he said. “Fortunately, we have seen declines in the amount of calls due to many folks returning to work and others getting the benefits they need to be able to carry on.

“In April, the unemployment rate soared to over 20 percent here in this county. In May, it dropped to 15 percent and June dropped to 9 percent.

“We have much work to do to continue connecting people back to employment but this trend is encouraging to see.”

If you are still having issues with your unemployment benefits, you can call Mosley’s office at 606-573-2600.

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