Emergency grants available for child care providers

Last week, the Legislature approved $30 million in emergency grants for child care providers. Providers — both family care and centers — are eligible for up to $4,500 per month, with an additional $1,000 if they serve children whose first language is not English, have special needs or if they serve children during nonstandard hours. Child care centers that serve more than 14 children are eligible for additional grants with a cap at $15,500.

This week, Child Care Aware, the organization administering the grants on behalf of the Department of Human Services, launched its grant application website. Applications are due by April 15, and applicants will be notified of their award by April 20. Recipients will receive funding after the completion and return of final paperwork, which will be distributed with the award notification. In determining awards, Child Care Aware is directed to award grants in a way that achieves regional balance and equitable distribution throughout the state and among provider types.

As the pandemic took hold in Minnesota, additional resources were made available for child care providers by the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations. The foundations created the Emergency Child Care Grant Program to provide grants of up to $1,000 for family care providers and $3,000 for child care centers that serve children of families employed in critical sectors. At this point, the foundations have distributed the funds they were able to commit to this effort. However, they are still accepting donations and are creating waitlists in order to quickly distribute new funds to providers.