DHS awards grants to help child care providers serving essential workers

Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) announced thousands of child care providers in the state will receive funding through emergency funds to allow them to continue serving the children of essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to DHS, there are roughly 420,000 children under the age of 12 who live in a household that has essential workers in critical sectors.

The state is awarding more than 1,200 child care providers about $9.8 million to help serve the children of essential workers.

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"These grants are an important step to ensuring those who are working on the front lines of this crisis will have qualified professionals to care for their children," Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead said in a statement. "With child care providers struggling to keep their doors open, we know there is high demand for additional support. Fortunately, they will have an opportunity to apply for the second and third round of grants."

According to DHS, 5,389 licensed child care programs and 22 tribally licensed programs applied to receive funding.

DHS said a total of $30 million has been authorized to assist child care providers and that providers in the state will have opportunities to apply for the grants again in mid-May and mid-June.