Grant program allocates $9M for child care providers
Honors Child Care Provider Appreciation Day
PHOENIX, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Economic Security announced Friday an additional $9 million in aid for child care providers throughout the state.
"Parents and families need access to safe, reliable and high quality child care, especially as Arizonans go back to work and job opportunities expand," expressed Gov. Ducey. "With the additional funding announced today, we’re making sure more working families have access to that care. I’m grateful to all Arizonans working to ensure families and kids have the support and resources they need, and am proud to celebrate Child Care Provider Appreciation Day."
With this funding, Arizona will have allocated a total of $88 million in Child Care and Development Fund relief funding for the child care network, providers and families since the beginning of the pandemic, as appropriated through the 2020 CARES Act.
As the Arizona economy continues to strengthen and jobs grow, today’s funding for the Child Care Workforce Retention and Recruitment (CCWRR) Grant Program will be critical in ensuring child care is available for Arizonans reentering the workforce.
"The child care provider community is worthy of celebration year-round, and we will continue to pursue every opportunity to provide assistance to our child care partners so they can support Arizona’s strong economic growth," commented Arizona Department of Economic Security Director Michael Wisehart. "Our child care provider network is not only critical to our immediate future, but also in the success of the next generation, as early education and care lay the groundwork for the development of Arizona children."
The CCWRR Grant Program provides immediate support to child care providers in hiring qualified staff and retaining existing staff. This grant program will help all regulated child care providers with recruitment and retention costs to support the child care workforce in Arizona. These funds are made available to Arizona through the Child Care and Development Fund CARES Act, 2020.
"COVID-19 has affected all of us, and child care providers have faced barriers to finding or keeping qualified staff," shared Barbie Prinster, Program Director of the Arizona Early Childhood Education Association. "This past year has also highlighted how essential our child care workforce is. With this grant, we recognize them directly by honoring the commitment they have to serving children and families."
Child care centers and group homes must use grant funds for salaries and benefits for employees, and bonus incentives for hiring and retention. In group homes and family child care homes without staff, grant funds may be utilized for a variety of expenses including licensing fees, liability insurance, tuition and registration relief for families, lease and mortgage payments, utilities, classroom materials and supplies.
"Child care is a critical issue facing healthcare workers on the frontline. As schools went virtual, this had an incredible impact on our workforce as essential workers had to choose between earning a paycheck, and taking care of their children at home,” said Tucson Medical Center HealthCare President and CEO Judy Rich. “Programs like the Essential Worker Child Care Relief Scholarship Program are critical to keeping our essential workers on the frontline knowing their children are safe."
In addition to the CCWRR Grant, the Department has also extended the Essential Workers Child Care Relief Scholarship through June 30, 2021, allowing essential workers and child care providers access to vital child care.