Child care virus funding announced
Increased access to child care and to assist child care providers amid the COVID-19 pandemic will be supported by $65.8 million in new funding, Gov. Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam announced Oct. 21.
The new investment includes $58.3 million of federal coronavirus relief funds and $7.5 million of reallocated child care and development block grant funds through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The money will continue an incentive grant program for child care providers that was announced in April through the end of 2020, according to a press release. This program provides flexible cash assistance to child care providers to help offset operating costs and expenses associated with meeting health and safety guidelines. The Virginia Department of Social Services, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Education, has distributed more than $46 million in direct assistance to child care programs to date.
Distribution of these funds will be announced by the Virginia Department of Social Services in the coming weeks.
Nearly 2,672 child care programs in Virginia — nearly 45 percent — closed their doors at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but thanks to more than $70 million in grants and other relief, many either have reopened or are starting to reopen, the release states. “Providers have reported that this funding is critical and many indicated that without additional financial support, they were unsure how long they could continue to operate.”
A comprehensive guide to COVID-19 child care resources in Virginia is available at https://www.dss.virginia.gov/cc/covid-19.html.
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