Education & Childcare

Education Headline:

The Village for Foster & Adoptive Families, through a grant from the Office of Healthy Aging, can assist people over 55 who are caring for children under the age of 18. Some services include support groups and help navigating childcare.

Last-reviewed: 2pm, Jan. 25, 2023

Key Resource:


The Basics

  • Families with children who will be 4 years old before September 1, 2023 may be eligible for Pre-K. They can complete an interest form here
  • Eligibility for school-based child nutrition programs has returned to pre-pandemic processes.
  • State-wide school calendar here (but check with individual districts for specific calendars).
  • The Biden administration’s federal student debt relief plan is temporarily on hold after a recent federal court ruling.
  • The Federal Department of Education extended the pause on federal student loan payments and collections until 60 days after the court case is resolved, or 60 days after June 30, 2023, whichever is earlier.
  • The Village for Foster & Adoptive Families, through a grant from the Office of Healthy Aging, can assist people over 55 who are caring for children under the age of 18. Some services include support groups and help navigating childcare. More information here.

The Breakdown

Elementary and Secondary Schools:
  • To be eligible for school-based nutrition programs, like free or reduced school lunch, some families will have to complete applications to enroll their children. RIDE has this outreach toolkit that explains program types, eligibility requirements, and outreach strategies.
    • National School Lunch program information here.
  • COVID-19 Outbreak Response protocols here (updated October 28, 2022)
    • New updates include:
      • Recommendations for exposures within the same household based on whether the exposed individual can or cannot separate from the positive individual
      • Recommendations for those returning to sports and other activities after a shortened isolation to wear masks on days 6-10 and to take an antigen test on days 6 and 8
      • Revised outbreak definition
      • Information for schools for when they should notify RIDOH about high levels of transmission and outbreaks
      • Requirements for symptomatic individuals to isolate for 5 days
  • COVID-19 Data Dashboard about young people here.
Resources for Students and Parents:
  • State child tax rebates were issued to those who filed their taxes before August 31, 2022. Families who filed taxes following a 2021 tax extension by October 17, 2022 will begin receiving rebates in December 2022. FAQ here.
  • Income limits for the Child Care Assistance Program increased from 180% to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and ineligibility for enrolled families increased from 225% to 300%. Read more here.
  • RI implemented increased reimbursement rates for childcare center providers. More information here.
  • Child-care assistance program and Head Start information.
University and Federal Student Loans:
  • Rhode Island guarantees in-state tuition for all Rhode Islanders regardless of immigration status. Conditions apply. More information here
  • Federal student loan repayments are paused through sixty days after June 30, 2023, or resolution of pending litigation, whichever is first. More information here. During this time, the loans will have a 0% interest rate and qualifying non-payments will count toward the income-driven repayment plan. The suspension does not apply to private loans, and it will not reduce the overall balance owed.
  • The Biden Administration federal student debt relief program is suspended pending current litigation. On Friday, October 21, 2022 a federal court temporarily halted the program that would cancel $10,000 of student loan debt for people who make less than $125,000 and an additional $20,000 of debt forgiveness for those students who received Pell grants.
    • Applications are currently suspended. More information, including a link to sign up for updates, here.
    • More about the federal student debt relief program here.

The Bottom Line

  • Care teams can help patients who are immigrants learn about in-state tuition at CCRI, RIC and URI, and can provide information about loan repayment to patients who have student loans.
  • Care teams can support parents by providing information about pre-K programs, or school registration in each school district.

Spotlight on non-discrimination:

  • Care teams working with children, youths and their families can help uplift key anti-discrimination rights to help protect against discrimination in publicly funded schools.
  • Under federal law, discrimination is prohibited on the basis of race, color and national origin, sex, disability, or age. RI also prohibits discrimination based on a student’s (perceived or actual) sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Schools are required to maintain anti-discrimination polices that set out procedures to report discrimination.
  • You can help a student who believes they’ve been discriminated against in their school by:
    • Helping a student to access their school’s anti-discrimination policy by doing an internet search for: [town name] schools non-discrimination policy.