CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina’s Department of Social Services received nearly $65 million from the CARES Act to help children and families during the COVID crisis.
DSS flagged $63 million of that federal funding to specifically help with child care response during the pandemic.
The first phase was offering free child care to first responders and essential workers.
Regardless of income, anyone working in essential services who needed child care to keep working could qualify.
According to numbers provided by DSS, 5,764 people applied for those vouchers.
2,592 have been approved, 333 denied, and 2,839 are pending.
"Approximately $13.1 million dollars is obligated for the 2,592 approvals thus far," said DSS spokesperson Marilyn Matheus Tuesday.
Those child care applications are closed, but Phase 2 of the DSS effort is now open.
That involves grants for child care providers- such as day cares - to help them clean and sanitize their centers or homes to allow them to reopen.
They can also use the grant money to buy cleaning supplies.
Grant amounts are up to $600 and are based on type of facility.
$1.28 million in CARES Funds are allocated for these cleaning grants.
DSS has issued 608 so far, Matheus said, and is still taking applications.
DSS is also using CARES Act funding to assist groups that are helping domestic violence survivors and abused or neglected children during the pandemic. The agency said it is still developing a plan and working with state groups and experts to allocate those funds.
A statement from DSS broke down the funding. "So far the Department of Social Services has received CARES Act federal funding in three categories: (1) $63,641,788 million in CARES Act funding for child care response, (2) $534,027 in a CARES Act Supplement for Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), and (3) a supplement to Title IV-B Funding in the amount of $797,811."