Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

State expands eligibility, doubles funding for third round of emergency child care grants

 


For the third round of Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grants, the Minnesota Department of Human Services will expand eligibility criteria and double available grant dollars to continue to help provide child care for essential workers and meet increased demand as businesses reopen. Current funding for the third round of grants is about $9.8 million and the additional $10 million will come from the federal Child Care Development Block Grant and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“As the COVID-19 emergency evolves, more businesses open, and providers struggle with increased public health impact, the demand for child care and need for financial supports increases,” said Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “Doubling the funding for this next round of grants will help more child care providers meet the needs of working families.”

By law, state-licensed family child care programs and child care centers as well as tribally licensed programs are eligible for the grants. The commissioner of Human Services has the authority to add other program types. For round three of the grants, eligibility is expanded to allow certain certified child care centers to apply for the grants and offer care options for families with older children. These certified child care centers, numbering about 100 programs, are nonprofit programs that primarily provide care for school-age children in the summer months and participate in the Child Care Assistance Program for families with low incomes.

In the first two rounds of Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grants, Child Care Aware, under contract with DHS, issued about $20 million in grants to child care providers. Adding $20 million in the third round will bring the year-to-date total to nearly $40 million, an amount proposed by Gov. Tim Walz and authorized by the Minnesota Legislature to assist child care providers. Based on applications and other data, there is continued demand and urgent need for child care supports and the Administration is working to respond.

Child Care Aware of Minnesota, in partnership with DHS and the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet, is awarding the grants, which will range from $4,500 to $21,000 and are intended to support basic infrastructure to keep child care capacity available.

Providers can apply through Child Care Aware’s website at http://www.childcareawaremn.org/providers/emergency-child-care-grants/ from 8 a.m. Monday, June 8, through 5 p.m. Monday, June 15.

There are approximately 420,000 children under the age of 12 who live in households with essential workers in a sector that is considered critical. Of these, the state estimates that during this peacetime emergency, about 270,000 children will need care, and approximately 120,000 are likely to need and use licensed child care settings.

 

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