The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) on Monday announced that child care workers may be eligible for quarterly bonus payments through its new grant program.
According to DHR, the Child Care Workforce Stabilization grants were funded through the American Rescue Plan Act, and were supplied to assist child care providers to recruit and retain qualified employees.
Alabama DHR commissioner Nancy Buckner indicated that the grants would play a crucial role in allowing child care providers to maintain necessary staffing.
“The pandemic has underscored the importance of accessible child care and the crucial role our providers serve for Alabama’s families, workforce and economy,” asserted Buckner. “This immediate investment in child care providers and their dedicated workers will generate long-term benefits for our entire state.”
DHR advised that beginning November 29, eligible child care providers may begin submitting applications. The quarterly bonus payments would be in the amount of $1,500 for full-time employees and $750 for part-time employees. Eligible employees have the opportunity to receive as many as eight bonus payments, as the two-year grant period is slated to end September 2023.
The department noted that providers must submit separate quarterly applications within the required time frames outlined in the grant schedule.
Child care providers must have been licensed to operate no later than March 11, 2021 to qualify, which was the date the American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law. Providers must also be in operation on the dates for which they apply. Upon receiving a grant, the providers must continue to operate for at least one year. If a provider’s license is suspended, revoked or is on probation, the entity would be ineligible for funding.
The department is administering the grants through the Alabama Partnership for Children and the Talladega Clay Randolph Child Care Corporation.
Providers seeking access to relevant information can visit DHR’s child care webpage.
This marks the third grant opportunity offered by DHR to child care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The previous two programs awarded 2,427 grants with an overall combined value of $56.8 million.
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL