The office of Child Care (OCC) is a division of the US Executive Branch under the Administration for Children and Families. Through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), childcare grants totaling $24 billion have been released by the (OCC). Its purpose is to assist states in quickly distributing stabilization funds to support the existing childcare market. The pandemic in the spring of 2020 had a devastating effect on the childcare industry. According to childcarerelief.org, some reasons this relief was necessary is because:
- Without this relief, the US would have lost 4.5 million childcare slots, which is around half of the nation’s childcare supply.
- Families would have continued to struggle to find the services they needed to return to work. During this time, 70% of parents reported that their childcare program is closed or is operating at reduced capacity.
- Forty percent of employers was concerned about their employees not able to return to work because of the lack of childcare services.
People take the childcare industry for granted, and it’s hard to realize how important something is until it’s lost. Because of these times, people all over the US have a greater respect for childcare programs.
Applying for the Grant
States have an opportunity to rebuild and stabilize their childcare systems with this funding. Center-based and family childcare providers and programs that serve school-age children are eligible. Childcare providers are eligible to receive childcare subsidy payments and childcare stabilization subgrants simultaneously. Some guidelines include the following:
- Childcare providers can use subgrants to cover various expenses, including personnel costs, rent, mortgage payments, insurance, facility maintenance, and improvements. In addition to personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-related supplies, training and professional development related to health and safety practices, goods and services necessary to resume providing care, mental health support for children and early educators, and reimbursement of public health emergency costs.
- Childcare subsidy payments provide financial assistance to working parents or parents attending school to cover the costs of certified in-home or center-based childcare.
To apply for a grant in your state, visit the Child Care Technical Assistance Network to determine which agency is responsible for distributing these funds.
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