By Joshua C. Black, Esq.
In an effort to curb labor shortages across the state and encourage Arizonans to return to work, Governor Ducey announced the Back To Work Program earlier this year.
There are several benefits in this plan including cash bonuses for many employees returning to work after collecting unemployment, as well as tuition reimbursement and three months of child care assistance for individuals who are transitioning from unemployment to a new job.
Lack of child care is often cited as a major barrier for unemployed parents trying to make a return to the workforce. This was especially challenging during the pandemic when parents were often assisting with virtual schooling.
For many workers across the state, knowing they will qualify for child care assistance once they start working again not only makes it easier to accept a job offer, but also helps alleviate stress knowing they’ve already secured child care for their youngsters when they accept a position.
To qualify for the Back To Work childcare funds, Arizonans must:
Be a parent or guardian in need of child care assistance for their children ages 12 and younger.
Have filed an initial claim for unemployment benefits in Arizona.
Received unemployment benefit payments for the week ending May 8 or May 15, 2021.
Currently be employed full or part-time.
Earn $25 per hour, equivalent to $52,000 per year, or less.
Eligible individuals can apply for the Child Care for Returning Workers Assistance by completing the Child Care for Returning Workers Application online anytime between now and September 6, 2021.
If approved, applicants will receive notification via email. Once approved, applicants will receive three months of child care assistance based on the date they were approved for benefits. Child care assistance must be used at an approved child care provider within the Department of Economic Security (DES) child care provider network, including any DES contracted child care provider, DES certified family childcare provider, or DES non-certified relative provider, statewide.
To confirm your child care provider is part of the DES provider network, call 1-800-308-9000 or visiting www.azchildcare.org
If you have questions about the Back To Work Program or other unemployment benefits, contact the Law Office of Joshua Black, PLC, at (623) 738-2225.