Lincoln, Neb. – On April 8, 2022, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Children and Family Services (CFS) offered a second opportunity to Child Care Providers to apply for the Child Care Stabilization Grant, a program funded by Section 2202 of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). This round of grants provides expanded eligibility to include providers licensed after March 11, 2021, as well as child care providers who did not apply in the first round. DHHS accepted 302 applications, totaling approximately $11 million, in this most recent application cycle bringing the total amount of applicants to 2,270 or nearly 80% of eligible providers in Nebraska. Grant payments were disbursed to providers in June 2022 and a second and final payment will be paid in September 2022.
To award grant money, CFS created a grant funding formula based on a variety of factors, including targeted support to providers caring for children in underserved and lower-income areas of the state. Child care providers had the opportunity to apply for these grant funds in a variety of categories including:
- Personnel costs, benefits, premium pay, and recruitment and retention;
- Rent or mortgage payments, utilities, facilities maintenance and improvements, or insurance;
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), cleaning and sanitation supplies and services, or training and professional development related to health and safety practices;
- Purchases of or updates to equipment and supplies needed to respond to COVID-19;
- Goods and services necessary to maintain or resume child care services including food costs, age appropriate educational materials, and bedding
- Mental health supports for children and employees;
- Co-payment and tuition relief for families struggling to make child care payments (to the extent possible); and,
- Paying for past financial losses incurred between March 13, 2020, and March 11, 2021 for those licensed before March 11, 2021.
For a comprehensive list of eligible expenses, please visit the Child Care Stabilization Grant FAQ.
CFS, in partnership with Deloitte Consulting, developed a tracking tool for the public to view pertinent Child Care Stabilization Grant Data such as money allocated, money disbursed, and the number of recipients broken down by county, city, Legislative District, and Congressional District. To date, a total of $104,289,675.00 has been awarded to child care providers.
“We honored our commitment to provide a second round of grant funds to providers who did not apply the first time,” said CFS Director Stephanie Beasley. “The successful grant cycles impacted the statewide provider network and brought stability and reliability to a vital industry in Nebraska. The Child Care Stabilization Grants also ensure Nebraska families have access to quality child care options and the child care workforce is rewarded for the important work they do each day for the benefit of Nebraska children.”
Child care providers who need additional assistance in understanding the grant process can call 833-500-8810 Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm to ask questions regarding their grants or the grant process.