Pandemic Child Assistance Fund

About the Fund

Many KU employees are facing unexpected costs related to local schools moving to online or hybrid instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic. To help these employees during this challenging time, KU has created the Pandemic Child Assistance Fund (PCAF) to provide financial support for unanticipated expenses due to the recent changes to K-12 education instructional methods. These funds have been made available through federal emergency relief dollars.

Please read Pandemic Child Assistance Fund Guidelines before applying.


Funding for this initiative was provided through SPARK funds. Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) dollars are statewide distributions from the Coronavirus Relief Fund and were allocated throughout the state by the SPARK Executive and Steering Committees, in conjunction with the Office of Recovery team. The University of Kansas was allotted relief funds to put towards COVID-19 recovery efforts, such as: personal protective equipment, online course delivery and other distance-learning tools, disinfection/sanitation supplies, COVID-19 testing efforts,  paid leave associated with COVID-19  through the Families First Care Relief Act (FFCRA), etc. Funding allocation for KU is reviewed and approved by the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR). KU made a request to use a portion of the SPARK funds for this initiative, and KBOR granted that request. 

Assistance to international employees will be paid from separate funding that does not include federal funds.

No, you income level will not impact your eligibility for these funds. In an effort to provide support to as many families as possible, as quickly as possible, this initiative does not take personal income levels into account. The pandemic has impacted even those families that wouldn’t normally require assistance, based on their household income, but are now suddenly finding themselves in need.

This decision was made in order to support as many eligible employee households as possible. In many cases related expenses are a household purchase such as upgraded internet, tutor/pod assistance, etc.

Because everyone’s circumstances are so unique, there is no way of knowing exactly how many employees will apply. Until we know how many households are approved, we will not know how much each individual payment will be. It is estimated that payments may be between $100 and $500 per household.

No, you should not apply for funds. This money is for those who have incurred additional expenses. If you have not, then your household is not eligible to receive funds.

No, at this time we are only including those children who are enrolled in grades K-8, as well as children in grades 9-12 who have a disability and require supervision and care. The intent is to provide support due to changes in the delivery of education.

No, we are only providing funds to those who have had an abrupt change or interruption to their typical educational delivery method. Those who were already attending a virtual school presumably did not need to adjust anything for the fall 2020 semester.

No, the number of dependents who are living in your household will not impact the amount you receive as all funds will be divided evenly among all approved applicants. 

You will receive an email notification confirming the receipt of your application immediately upon submission. Once the review process has concluded, you will then receive an email informing you of the acceptance status of your application. You can anticipate receiving this notification by October 11, 2020.

As this is a non-taxable benefit, the process for payment will be made through KU and the State’s financial system.  Details will be sent with the notification emails.

No, you will not be taxed for these funds.

Yes, you are still eligible for the Pandemic Child Assistance Fund even if you applied for and have used (or are currently using) employee paid leave, such as Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Leave, i.e., Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL) and Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA).

Yes, you are still eligible for the Pandemic Child Assistance Fund if you applied for but have not yet used employee paid leave for absences directly related to COVID-19.

Due to the nature of this pandemic, each person’s individual circumstances are likely unique. While the criteria stated in the guidelines should provide applicants with sufficient information to determine if they are eligible, there may be instances where criteria is not met due to additional factors that should be taken into consideration. An example of a “special circumstance” would be in instance where a child lives within a school district where in-person school is permitted and children were allowed to return to school as “normal,” however your child (or someone else in your household) is immunocompromised and it is not safe for them to attend in-person. For this reason, the child is participating in school online from home.  Per the guidelines, a child who lives in a district where in-person school is permitted will not be approved for funding, but in the aforementioned example would be considered a “special circumstance” for which the Committee would review. We anticipate these scenarios will be rare.

The guidelines state the following:  “Circumstances may occur in which an anonymous review is impossible or impractical, in which case the identity of the applicant may be revealed to the Review Committee. In this event, personal information concerning the applicant will be treated as confidential.

This was a decision was made to be able to help as many households as possible.

The fund is to assist with the additional costs due to the change in delivery of education. If the school is still providing in-person instruction, the committee needs to understand the need for assistance if your child is allowed to attend school.  In some cases, the school may be delivering in-person curriculum but due to a comprised health of the student or household member the student may not be able to attend in person and that may have increased your personal costs.

KU puts trust in their employees and assumes accountability in our employees. Data will be reviewed by school and the fund itself will have a document with all payments and accounting of the expenditures.

Yes, international employees are eligible to apply. Assistance will be paid from separate funding that does not include federal dollars.