DHHS program grants over $90 million to child care providers

The grant provides over $90 million to child care providers in two installments, one last December and one in March 2022. 
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services program has granted over $90 million to child care providers in Nebraska.

The DHHS Division of Children and Family Services (CFS) launched the Child Care Stabilization Grant, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

The grant provides over $90 million to child care providers in two installments, one last December and one in March 2022.

Thanks to the funds, Myra Katherine Hale from Pearl Academy in Fremont used the grant money to buy protective equipment and other necessary resources for her staff.

“When we received our grant money we made the decision to give back to our staff. Our teachers have made incredible sacrifices caring for children during this time and we were ecstatic to be able to give back to our amazing staff just in time for the holiday season,” said Hale.

“We are very pleased with how the Child Care Stabilization Grant program turned out,” Said CFS Director Stephanie Beasley. “Responses have been overwhelmingly positive and I am very proud of how our team managed this program. With the second disbursement of funds coming in March we hope to provide even more financial aid for child care providers who need it the most.”

CFS created a grant funding formula that is based on a variety of factors, with a focus on helping lower-income areas of the state. The grant funding formula helps CFS decide where to grant the money from the Child Care Stabilization Grant.

According to DHHS, factors of the grant funding formula include:

  • Personnel costs, benefits, premium pay, and recruitment and retention.
  • Rent or mortgage payments, utilities, facilities maintenance and improvements, or insurance.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), cleaning and sanitation supplies and services, or training and professional development related to health and safety practices.
  • Purchases of or updates to equipment and supplies needed to respond to COVID-19.
  • Goods and services are necessary to maintain or resume child care services including food costs, toys and outdoor playgrounds.
  • Mental health supports for children and employees.
  • Co-payment and tuition relief for families struggling to make child care payments (to the extent possible).
  • Paying for past financial losses incurred between March 13, 2020, and March 11, 2021.

CFS says they are working to provide a second opportunity for childcare providers to apply for the grant, targeting those who did not originally apply.

Categories: Nebraska News, News