More funds available to support health, safety in child care, DHS says

More funds available to support health, safety in child care, DHS says Photo: KSTP-TV.

Tommy Wiita
Updated: October 05, 2020 12:00 PM
Created: October 05, 2020 11:55 AM

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) says child care providers across the state are in line for more state support to help them keep operating through the end of the year.

Providers should apply for more funding by Oct. 14.

About 7,300 providers may be eligible for COVID-19 Public Health Support Funds for Child Care from DHS. The non-competitive grants totaling $53 million will help family child care providers and child care centers cover the costs of safeguarding the health and safety of children and staff for three months.

Many providers were already struggling to stay open before the pandemic. Implementing public health guidance for COVID-19 compounded financial strains, with higher costs for smaller groupings in classrooms, extra cleaning and more sick leave.

“Child care providers across Minnesota have been doing heroic work to provide safe and nurturing care for children so their parents can continue working,” Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead said. “We want all providers to apply for these funds by the deadline so they can take advantage of this additional financial support.”

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Starting Monday, providers will receive an email from the department with a link to an online application. They must submit their application by 5 p.m. on Oct. 14.

According to DHS, home child care providers could get up to $1,200 a month from October through December, while licensed centers may be eligible for up to $8,500 a month. Certified centers that care for school-age students could get up to $3,000 a month.

To qualify, providers must meet the following criteria:

  • Operating and serving children on Sept. 15.
  • Committed to continue operating through Dec. 15.
  • License in good standing.
  • Not found responsible for fraud in the past.

All eligible providers will receive funds as long as they apply by the deadline.

For technical assistance, contact Child Care Aware of Minnesota at 651-290-9704 or by email. For child care resources related to COVID-19, including public health guidance, click here.

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