The Child Care Stabilization Grant, established by Section 2202 of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) signed into law on March 11, 2021, provides approximately $24 billion in relief funds to the child care industry, of which approximately $140 million has been allocated to the state of Nebraska.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in collaboration with Deloitte Consulting, LLP, has developed a user-friendly, online Stabilization Grant application that launched on October 25, 2021. Providers also have access to a toll-free contact center where questions about the application can be addressed. The call center will offer assistance in multiple languages.
Deloitte, in partnership with the Nebraska Department of Administrative Services (DAS), will assist with the processing of provider payments, which will occur in two installments. Those interested in applying for grants can visit coronavirus.nebraska.gov, questions regarding the application process can be directed to the hotline at 1-833-500-8810. The application is now open and will close on November 24.
DHHS understands these grants present an unprecedented opportunity to stabilize the child care sector and ensure families have equal access to high quality care. The Department has created a grant funding formula based on a variety of factors with a true focus on supporting those in underserved and lower-income areas of the state. Child care providers will have 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, toys and outdoor playgrounds;
- 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.
Children and Family Services (CFS) Director Stephanie Beasley stated, “Child care providers have been and continue to be the workforce behind the workforce throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The resulting challenges have put a spotlight on the critical role that providers play in support of Nebraska’s economy. Through the facilitation of stabilization grants, we are continuing in our mission to help Nebraskans live better lives.”
A guidance document has been provided for applicants with additional questions: https://coronavirus.nebraska.