Starting today, approximately 7,000 Minnesota child care providers are be eligible for $56.6 million in funds to help ensure children’s and staff’s health and safety in their child care settings during COVID-19. The new COVID-19 Public Health Support Funds for Child Care program is specifically designed to provide support to all child care providers who qualify.
Governor Tim Walz visited and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan made the announcement of the new funding last week while visiting a child care center in St. Paul and a family child care provider in Rochester. The proposal provides grants to family child care providers, child care centers, and certain eligible certified centers to support the increased costs and decreased revenue due to COVID-19.
Child care providers can apply for the funding starting today (July 15) at 8 a.m. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Thursday, July 23. To apply for these funds, providers fill out an online application using a link that they will receive via email from the Minnesota Department of Human Services on July 15.
Benefits available under the program include:
- Licensed family child care providers will receive up to $1,200 per month for July, August and September
- Licensed centers will receive up to $8,500 per month for July, August and September
- Certain certified centers will receive up to $8,500 per month in July and August. Eligible certified centers include nonprofit programs that primarily provide care for school-age children year round, but full time in the summer months and are certified to participate in the Child Care Assistance Program for families with low incomes.
All eligible providers who apply will receive funds.
“Child care providers play a critical role in caring for children and supporting our economy by enabling children’s parents to go to work,” said Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “They have gone above and beyond during the public health emergency, and are now facing additional costs to ensure the health and safety of their staff and the families they serve. We want to support them as much as we can with this funding.”
Funds will be issued to all eligible child care providers who are operating and serving children, maintaining health and safety standards, and have a license in good standing. To qualify, providers must show they were operating and serving children as of June 15, 2020, and attest to remaining open and serving children for the duration of the funding period, among other criteria.
These funds are in addition to the $40 million in Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grants many providers received over the previous few months to provide care to children of health care and other essential workers. Providers are eligible for these new funds even if they previously applied for or received a Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grant.
To find child care resources related to COVID-19, including public health guidance for providers, visit mn.gov/childcare.
“Child care providers have stepped up to serve emergency workers and ensure families across Minnesota have a safe and reliable place to send their children,” said Governor Walz. “We will continue to support the critical work they do to educate our next generation, support families, and strengthen our economy.”