Gov. Northam announces additional funds will go to childcare, support for providers

Gov. Northam announces additional funds will go to childcare, support for providers
Through the additional funding, Virginia will continue to provide stabilization grants to sustain current providers and help closed providers re-open as well as retention bonuses and scholarships for child care educators. (Source: Pixabay)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Governor Ralph Northam says an additional $203.6 million in federal stimulus funds will go towards the Child Care Subsidy Program to help stabilize the childcare and education system.

The extra funding will also deliver operational and technical resources to new and returning child care providers.

Nearly 90% of child care center programs have reopened, the governor’s office says.

Through the additional funding, Virginia will continue to provide stabilization grants to sustain current providers and help closed providers re-open as well as retention bonuses and scholarships for child care educators.

Grants will also be offered to help new programs.

The additional federal funding will support families and child care providers by enabling the commonwealth to:

  • Waives co-payments for families in April, May, and June to reduce financial hardship and support children’s access to care.
  • Increases absence days so that providers and families can manage occurrences where child care providers may temporarily need to close or children may need to quarantine.
  • Builds the foundation for a statewide mental health consultation program to assist child care providers in helping children through this difficult time.
  • Issues the fourth round of child care stabilization grants to eligible open providers in the commonwealth.
  • Provide funding for grants and contracts to support increased access to child care in underserved communities.
  • Supplement the state’s innovative child care educator incentive program so that eligible educators in child care centers and family day homes that receive public funding such as the Child Care Subsidy Program are now eligible for up to $2,000 this year to strengthen the quality and reduce turnover.

“Early educators have been diligent and dedicated to keeping children safe and meeting the needs of our youngest Virginians since the early days of this public health crisis,” Governor Northam said.

The Virginia Department of Education and the VDSS are working to operate on the application process for expanded Child Care Subsidy Program eligibility.

Additional details on the program will be released to families and providers by mid-April.

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