$1.5 million in CARES funds to help with increased child care costs in Wyoming due to COVID - Casper, WY Oil City News
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$1.5 million in CARES funds to help with increased child care costs in Wyoming due to COVID


CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Department of Family Services (DFS) has been allocated $1.5 million in CARES Act funds to “provide relief to families who experienced an increase in child care expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The closures of Wyoming schools and child care facilities highlighted child care as an critical component of economic stability for Wyoming families and businesses,” DFS Senior Administrator Roxanne O’Connor said in Monday’s release. “This program is a way to help families afford these invaluable services.”

Wyomingites can begin to apply for the COVID-19 Child Care Relief Program on Oct. 1, according to DFS. Financial relief may be available for increased child care expenses, such as the following:

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  • additional or unanticipated child care expenses for children who would have otherwise been attending school; 
  • child care holding fees to secure spots at child care facilities during the closures, or;
  • additional/alternative care for children while parents/guardians were working, attending school or training.

Eligibility is not based on income.

“Applicants must be Wyoming residents and demonstrate an increase in child care expenses between March 13, 2020 through present,” DFS says. “The program will be available starting October 1, 2020 and will operate while funding is available or until December 30, 2020, whichever occurs first.”

“For more information, please visit https://dfs.wyo.gov/wyoming-child-care-relief-program/, https://childcarerelief.wyo.gov/ or call (307)777-5819.”

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: covid@cnchd.org

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.