Alaska child care providers to receive an additional $10.5 million in CARES Act funding
On Thursday, the Alaska Department of Health and Social services announced that an additional $10.5 million in CARES Act funding is available to licensed childcare providers, to offset loses for the months of April and May.
The new funding comes after the Child Care Program Office was given $6.4 million in funding through the U.S. Administration for Children and Families - and another $2.6 million in state CARES Act funds.
The state's plan for distributing the money as fairly as possible will be based on the provider in question's number of children who are not eligible for child care assistance.
In accordance, the CCPO will follow several guidelines:
- Providers will be paid for revenue lost from private payment sources, as a result of the pandemic, using said provider's licensed capacity, multiplied by a flat rate.
- If providers were open at any time during the months of April or May, the rate will be $400/child.
- If the provider was closed during that entire period, the rate will be $200/child.
Additionally, any child care assistance funds that providers are eligible for will continue to be paid.
KTUU spoke with Building Blocks Early Learning Center Owner Kyle Gardner both before and after the announcement. He says the news of more funding haa given him some temporary relief, but will still only cover about 40% of what he originally hoped to receive through the CCPO.
"This buys me another month, or month an a half, maybe" Gardner said. "It is definitely better than nothing, but it is a little less than half of what they had said."
Garner also told KTUU that most child care providers operate on thin margins, and while he the additional assistance does provide some immediate certainty regarding the future of his and other child care businesses, there is no way to know how many will ultimately survive the losses caused by COVID-19.
"At the end of the day, it's still not a certain thing that I can say we will be here in December ... I know we will be here in July. Earlier this week I was starting to question when our final days might be," he said.