During the pandemic, several states explored offering supports for the direct care workforce.


  • Massachusetts Charles Baker authorized the Exempt Emergency Child Care Program to offer free backup child care for parents working in health care, human services, public health, public safety and law enforcement.
  • Minnesota Tim Walz signed an executive order in March 2020 providing free child care to “emergency workers,” which includes all direct care workers.
  • New Jersey offered emergency child care assistance to essential employees, including direct care workers, through May 2020.

2023-24 Updates

Employment Supports

California: Gateway-In Project provides wraparound service financial support for CNAs, home health aides.

Iowa: Pleasant View Care Center in the rural small town of Whiting solicited farmers to donate unused farmland and houses which they could rent to workers.

Massachusetts: Received U.S. Department of Agriculture funding to provide worker apartments for campuses on Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod, where housing costs are high.

Minnesota: Legislature appropriated $83 million for LTSS Workforce Incentive Grants, which can be used to provide payments to eligible workers for childcare and transportation-related costs. A separate nursing home workforce grant fund can pay for meals and housing.

New Jersey established employment protections of 60 days (with some exceptions) for certain service employees during changes of ownership in publicly or privately owned entities, including hospital, nursing care facilities, senior care centers or other health care provider locations.

New Jersey: Bridgeway Senior Healthcare assisted living facilities provide subsidized housing and transportation for employees.

Washington: Has co-located daycare facilities for workers with small children.

Wisconsin: Provides wraparound supports for nursing assistants.