Gov. Beshear announces new job bonus, new child care center funding

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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) New incentive for unemployed Kentuckians, and a new round of help for Kentucky child care centers are announced. 

Gov. Andy Beshear unveiled a new program to get more Kentuckians back to work. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of dollars will go to existing, and soon-to-open day care centers.

$1,500 is enough to buy some types of laptops. Kentucky state officials hope that amount is enough to get more Kentuckians back to work.

“We would always come to the point where we thought that this incentive would be more effective than ending the benefits, in getting people back to work,” said Gov. Beshear.

He announced a one-time $1,500 bonus to the first 15,000 unemployed Kentuckians who get a new job. To be eligible, you must be a Kentucky resident, be newly employed by a Kentucky business between June 24th and July 30th, and have an active unemployment claim as of June 23rd.

“Within announcing incentives to go back to work, we also have to make sure that folks have child care so that they can do that,” said Eric Friedlander, Secretary for the Cabinet of Health and Family Services.

On the child care front, $763 million over three years in federal money will help providers in Kentucky impacted during the pandemic. The funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act. It will go to centers open as of March 11th of this year, help open new ones, and increase wages for workers.

“I’m encouraged that there’s an emphasis on that,” said John Alexander of the Owensboro Family YMCA, which operates its own child care center. He also says it can help offset costs from required extra staffing to helping feed children.

“The financial aspects were difficult situation for us because of the expenses. The governor required us to expand staff for number of children in that regard, so that cut into us as far as the ability to offer an affordable care,” Alexander said.

Friedlander says the money will help open more centers in places that currently do not have many in their area.

(This story was originally published on June 24, 2021)

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