Childcare centers can get more than $400K in pandemic relief through grants

Childcare providers across the state are encouraged to apply for the payments beginning Dec. 1,...
Childcare providers across the state are encouraged to apply for the payments beginning Dec. 1, 2021.
Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 6:25 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - Childcare centers in Mississippi can now receive more than $400,000 in pandemic relief through a program created by the Mississippi Department of Human Services through the Division of Early Childhood Care and Development.

MDHS and DECCD announced Child Care Strong, a program that includes the issuance of more than $319 million in Stabilization Grants to childcare providers.

Child Care Strong came from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP Act), which includes childcare stabilization grants to be awarded based on the current Child Care and Development Block Grant formula.

The money will go directly to childcare providers to provide relief to help cover the continued business costs associated with the pandemic and to help stabilize their operations so that they may continue to provide care.

Stabilization Grants may be used to cover a range of expenses, such as:

  • Personal costs
  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Insurance
  • Facility maintenance and improvements
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-related supplies
  • Training and professional development related to the health and safety practices
  • Goods and services needed to resume providing care
  • Mental health supports for children and early educators
  • Reimbursement of costs associated with the current public health emergency

In order to receive Child Care Strong Stabilization Grant funding, childcare providers must do the following:

  • Must be licensed or registered and meet federal criteria
  • Must be in good financial standing with DECCD and Federal accountability reports related to CARES Act and CRRSA funding
  • Licensed providers and non-relative in-home providers DO NOT have to be participating in the Child Care Payment Program (CCPP) to be eligible for the funding
  • Some conditions will prevent providers from being awarded funding
  • Any provider who has been found to have committed fraud/intentional program violation in the Child Care Payment Program within the past year is disqualified
  • Any provider under revocation or suspension of their license or registration status with the MSDH, Division of Child Care Licensure or CCP is disqualified
  • Early Head Start or Head Start programs/grantees are not qualified
  • Any program currently receiving state or local funding to cover operating expenses is not qualified, for example, Head Start programs, public Pre-K, etc.

If a single owner has multiple sites, they should apply for funding separately for each license/registration number.

All providers will be required to complete and turn in an application for funding and monthly reports detailing how funding was spent. Providers who do not participate in the CCPP will also have to register with MDHS for the agency to release funding and issue the appropriate tax documents.

Providers will continue to receive their monthly CCPP subsidy, based on enrollment, in addition to the Child Care Strong Stabilization Grants.

“This third route of direct pandemic-related support is part of our continued service to Mississippi children and childcare providers who continue to feel the effects of the pandemic,” said MDHS Executive Director Robert G. “Bob” Anderson. “Childcare is essential to our workforce and getting families back to work in support of our state economy and providing tangible help to Mississippi children to create hope for tomorrow.”

Childcare providers across the state are encouraged to apply for the payments beginning Dec. 1, 2021.

To apply for the Child Care Strong Stabilization Grants, learn more on the program or determine the funding for your childcare center, click here.

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