HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Department of Human Services announced Monday the state will distribute $655 million from the American Rescue Plan to assist the state’s child care industry, Acting Secretary Meg Snead says.
The state says at least 90 percent of the total funding will be given as grants to eligible child care providers that submit applications. The one-time-funding is available for licensed child care providers in good standing and that have been open since March 11, 2021.
“The pandemic exacerbated existing child care challenges with serious economic implications for child care providers, working families and businesses,” said Andrea Heberlein, executive director of the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission.
The DHS says it established an online application that is available starting Monday.
Child care providers are able to use this grant funding for:
- Personnel costs
- Operation costs
- Health and safety costs
- Equipment and supplies
- Goods and services
- Mental health services
- Reimbursement for past COVID-19 expenses incurred after January 31, 2020
“This is an unprecedented amount of funding that we hope and believe will help these businesses and nonprofit organizations shore up their finances, recruit and retain early childhood professionals, and build capacity to serve more children, especially in communities where working families are struggling to access affordable child care options,” Acting Secretary Snead said.
DHS says providers will have nine months after their application is approved to report back to the department with how the money was spent.