BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) – Today Governor Andy Beshear announced that Kentucky has received more than $ 763 million in federal funds to support Commonwealth child care providers who have been financially affected by the global pandemic, in turn helping families with young children.
The governor said the funding supported more than child care.
“This funding is an investment not only in our young children and their educators, but also in our economy,” Governor Beshear said. “My administration is committed to early childhood development and rebuilding the state’s economy as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis. This funding allows our child care providers to stay open, keep parents in the workforce, and keep our infrastructure strong to build a better Kentucky. “
The three-year funding comes from the $ 1.9 trillion emergency relief bill – the American Rescue Plan Act – which provides economic assistance to families, workers and businesses in our country. Of these funds, $ 39 billion has been allocated to the child care industry, both for providers and to support families who need help paying for child care.
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Eric Friedlander, whose cabinet houses the Division of Child Care (DCC) of the Department for Community Based Services, said the funding was a lifeline for the economy of government and childcare providers.
Secretary Friedlander said federal funding would be used in two ways.
The bulk of the funding – over $ 470 million – is for sustainability payments that will be distributed to child care providers statewide. Secretary Friedlander said 95% of that funding – $ 446,561,055 – is spent on stabilization grants for eligible programs opened before the federal deadline of March 11, 2021. The remaining 5% – up to 23,503 $ 213 – is spent on administrative expenses. He said CHFS was looking for partners to help with these grants, especially the distribution of sustainability payments.
The second funding stream, $ 293 million of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is slightly more flexible and has been designated for four specific purposes:
- increase provider payments;
- improving payment policies;
- increase the salaries of early childhood educators and family day care centers; and
- increase the number of quality child care options for underserved populations.
Families can seek help through the Child Care Assistance Program. A pre-selection tool and an application tool are posted on kynect.ky.gov. Eligibility information is also available at local DCBS offices, where applications are also accepted.
Suppliers will be contacted by DCC with details on how to apply for funding. Suppliers will have to respond with a contract within one week of the deadline. At that time, the DCC will send Child Care Aware staff to facilities to brief them on contracts and offer assistance in completing them, if needed.
Here’s a breakdown of the projects and costs recommended in Kentucky through this funding stream:
- Continuation of the partnership program for public preschools for the next three school years: $ 30 million;
- Child Care Assistance Program (CEAP) reimbursement increase over the duration of the funding period: $ 194 million;
- Pilot for CCAP contracts for infant and toddler care statewide: $ 18.9 million;
- Facility repair grants for current child care programs: $ 20 million;
- Training Academies for Certified Kentucky Trainers: $ 150,000;
- Kentucky Apprenticeship Program Funding: $ 2 million;
- Increased contributions to the Kentucky Early Childhood Scholarship Program: $ 7 million;
- Additional start-up grants for family day care centers (over three years): $ 500,000;
- Business Partnership Seed Fund (over three years): $ 2 million;
- Matching seed grants for child care programs in “deserts” (over three years): $ 4 million; and
- Technology System Upgrades to Connect All Child Care Data Systems: $ 14.7 million.
Secretary Friedlander said there will be an application process for all grant-eligible programs, including the Preschool Partnership Programs, the CCAP Infant and Toddler Pilot Program and the Starter Program.
Find more information about this funding and child care in Kentucky here.
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