Are you a district that partners with a provider for child care services? Are some of your staff dependent on onsite child care in your schools? Are some of your staff dependent upon having child care available to them to be able to work?
Here is some important news for you:
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) announced applications are open for this federally funded program to provide some $51 million in assistance to a child care industry deemed essential during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. From the DCF release:
“The Child Care Counts: COVID-19 Emergency Payment Program is broken into three smaller programs targeted at the most common circumstances early care and education providers are facing in the wake of the public health emergency. The individual payment programs are detailed below and cover the March 12 to May 26 period. The department is issuing payments across three application periods: May 18 to May 29, June 8 to June 19, and June 29 to July 10. Providers are encouraged to apply during all phases and can do so by visiting the department’s web site.
Funding to Care for Essential Workforce Families
“This program is designed to support the costs of providing care for essential workforce families. Funds are to be used for paying staff, reimbursing families, or other allowable expenses.
“The Incentive Pay program provides additional wages for child care providers and individual educators. Funds are required to be used to increase base pay during the State of Emergency for current employees, providers, and individual educators.
Support for Temporarily Closed Child Care Programs
“To assist providers who were forced to close, this program helps defray costs associated with retaining staff and reopening child care programs as Wisconsin’s workforce returns to work. Funds are required to be used for reopening within 30 days of receiving funding. The money received is required to be used for paying staff, reimbursing families, or other allowable expenses.
“A copy of the department’s approval letter from the Joint Committee on Finance is available online. The final program reflects a requested change to the department’s original proposal that gave the department authority to spend a portion of funds on supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for child care providers. DCF is still working to secure these items for child care providers who cannot access them locally. To learn more about DCF, visit www.dcf.wisconsin.gov and follow @WisDCF on Twitter and Facebook.”