There’s some help on the way for child care businesses struggling with the challenges presented by COVID-19. On Dec. 27, the president signed a new $900 billion COVID relief bill, which includes $10 billion to support the child care industry.
Where will the funds be allocated?
Most of the $10 billion will be available via the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which is run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program, through its Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), awards monies to state and local government agencies as well as nonprofit organizations to help low-income families afford child care services.
The funds can also be used to help child care centers cover COVID-related expenses, regardless of whether or not they’re serving children receiving subsidies. This includes helping child care businesses make payroll, purchase cleaning/sanitation supplies, pay rent and more.
Can I use the funds to pay for business expenses like child care software?
Yes, but check with your local/state officials to determine the specific grant guidelines.
How do I apply for CCDF financial support?
To determine how to apply for CCDF support, contact your state’s child care office. You can also learn more by visiting the federal Office of Child Care’s website.
Are there other grant or loan programs available to child care businesses?
The relief package also provides $284 billion in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – a program run by the Small Business Administration to help businesses cover the costs of payroll and retain their employees. The program opened Jan. 11. Some updates to the program include:
- PPP borrowers can set their loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks.
- Loans will now cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs and worker protection expenditures.
- PPP now provides greater flexibility for seasonal employees.
- Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their first PPP loan.
- Certain existing PPP borrowers will be eligible to apply for a second PPP loan beginning Jan. 13. Qualifications for a second loan include having no more than 300 employees and being able to show that revenue declined at least 25% in any quarter in 2020 compared with 2019. Re-applying companies should have also used the full amount of their first loan by the time they receive the second.
We wrote a comprehensive guide on COVID-related financial assistance, including the PPP, here.