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Letter from the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL)


(Printable PDF)

August 28, 2020

Dear Superintendent,

We are writing to make you aware of supports and financial resources to help families as they adapt to a virtual learning model. We recognize that school systems and families are facing unprecedented challenges during this time and that many of you are currently conducting virtual learning-only with your students.

Many families who must work are looking for safe and healthy child care that can support their child(ren) with virtual learning. Please share the supports and resources identified in this letter with your schools that can, in turn, share them with families.

Finding Full Day School-Age Care Programs

The following two resources can help families identify providers in their area who offer care for school-aged children during the work day and can help with distance learning.
  •  Georgia’s 1-877-ALL-GA-KIDS hotline can help parents find providers in their area who offer care for school-age children. Referral specialists will share contact information and other details about providers to help families find the best fit.
  •  Families can also visit http://qualityrated.org/ to search for providers in their area. When using the search engine, families should select the “fulltime care for school age children” option.

The hotline and the website will generate a list of state licensed or licensed-exempt child care programs monitored by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL).

Obtaining Financial Assistance

Beginning September 1, 2020, financial support will be available for eligible families of students whose schools are operating on a virtual learning-only model. With funding from the Governor, DECAL has created the Supporting Onsite Learning for Virtual Education (SOLVE) Program that provides scholarships to cover the cost of out-of-home care for students ages 5-12 who are engaged in virtual learning.  These scholarships are available to families whose incomes do not exceed 85% of the State Median Income, who meet an activity requirement, and who select an eligible provider. Parents may apply for a SOLVE Scholarship by visiting www.gateway.ga.gov. Additional information on this program is available at http://www.decal.ga.gov/CAPS/Solve.aspx or by calling 1-833-4GA-CAPS.

We hope this information is helpful to your schools and families. Contact Liz Young at liz.young@decal.ga.gov or 404-656-0916 if you have additional questions.
Thank you for all you do for Georgia’s students. We appreciate your help in making families in your district aware of these important resources.

Sincerely,

Amy M. Jacobs Richard Woods
Commissioner State School Superintendent
Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning Georgia Department of Education