Are you still waiting to receive your share of the ARP stimulus funds provided to child care?
If you are still waiting, you are far from alone. Unfortunately over half of the states have yet to provide any or most of these funds to their childcare providers. As you may recall the American Rescue Plan that was passed in March of this year provided $39B to help childcare. $15B of it was added to the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and the other $24B was set aside to help stabilize the child care infrastructure. The Administration of Child and Family Services provided states the following information which encouraged them to use their additional CCDBG money for the following purposes:
- Prioritize using the funds to raise subsidy payment rates
- Increase child care workforce compensation
- Take bold steps to support children’s development needs, choices for parents and increased access to assistance for families
In addition, the guidance encouraged:
- Supply-building activities, including care for infants and toddlers and care during non-traditional hours
- Setting payments based on the cost of quality, rather than traditional market rate survey
- Expanding the use of grants and contracts to support program stability and supply building
- Paying child care subsidies based on children’s enrollments rather than attendance
The additional $24B was designated for child care stabilization grants. The goal of the grants is to provide financial relief to child care providers to help defray unexpected business costs associated with the pandemic, and to help stabilize their operations so that they may continue to provide care. Child care providers may use subgrants to cover a range of expenses such as personnel costs; rent or mortgage payments; insurance; facility maintenance and improvements; personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-related supplies, training and professional development related to health and safety practices; goods and services needed to resume providing care; mental health supports for children and early educators; and reimbursement of costs associated with the current public health emergency. To date only 20 states have posted grant applications for their providers. I know that many of you are trying to figure out how to get your Governor, Legislators, or Lead Agencies to move this process along so that you as providers can receive the money your federal legislators wanted you to have.
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