SD legislators give green light to higher childcare subsidies

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Pierre Capitol building legislature

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The Legislature’s Rules Review Committee voted 5-1 Monday that the state Department of Social Services correctly followed the process to increase the eligibility income levels for families to receive childcare assistance in South Dakota.

The new maximum is 209 percent of the federal poverty level. The current maximum is 175 percent. Many families will see their portions of the payments go down while their subsidies go up as a result of the changes that take effect July 1.

The estimated financial impact on state government’s budget is $1.1 million. Federal childcare and development funding would cover the full additional cost.

Expanding eligibility to 209 percent would help provide assistance for an estimated 144 more households and 288 more children.

Sen. Craig Kennedy, D-Yankton, said the change appropriately reflects the availability of additional funding to help people of limited means. ā€œIā€™m glad to see the department moving forward,ā€ Kennedy said.

Under the current system, state government requires a subsidy starting at 150 percent of the poverty level. That changes to 160 percent.

The savings could be substantial. For example, for a two-person household making $2,466 per month, the new co-pay is $106, a savings of $239.

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