Grants available to some day cares struggling to stay open
By Lydia Nusbaum | July 21, 2020 at 7:17 PM CDT - Updated July 21 at 7:57 PM
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Human Resources said a new grant program will help licensed child care providers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Temporary Assistance for Stabilizing Child Care (TASCC) grant program aims to help daycares stay open and encourage others to reopen.
The grant amount will be based on the daycare’s licensed capacity with a base rate of $300 per child. In order to receive the grant, the child care facilities must open no later than Aug. 17, 2020 and stay open for one year since receiving the grant.
“This program is going to be vital for our child care numbers to reach the level required to provide adequate services as parents return to work,” Alabama DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner said in a statement.
DHR is accepting applications for the grant through Aug. 7, 2020.
Stephen Woerner is the executive director of VOICES for Alabama’s Children. He said many parents are too afraid to bring their children back to daycares. This leaves the facilities strapped for cash.
“The chambers of commerce identify childcare as a major challenge to open back up the economy. So the business community is recognizing that this is crucial and that if the childcare centers aren’t open, they can’t get their workforce back to work,” he said. “But when child cares are out of business we’re not going to get our workforce back to work because we have to have places to safely put our kids.”
These grants will provide support for paying employees, purchasing classroom materials, providing meals, purchasing cleaning supplies, providing tuition relief for families, as well as other facility expenses.
Terri Jackson is the owner of Montessori at Mulberry. They temporarily closed down March 13 because of the pandemic.
“It wasn’t easy at all,” Jackson said.
Jackson said she will not apply for a grant because she does not believe it is safe to open by Aug. 17.
“I had two of my staff members break down, you know, just because they’re fearful for their families and they’re my family,” she said. “It’s going to be really tough.”
There are 1,322 child care facilities open out of 2,448.
- 665 licensed centers out of 1,278 (52%)
- 427 family child care homes out of 656 (65%)
- 230 exempt facilities out of 514 (45%)
DHR have received 500 TASCC grant applications which are still being processed.
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