Applications open for Anchorage childcare grants
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - With more remote learning and working from home on the horizon, childcare centers in Anchorage are likely to see increased demand in the coming months, but new resources are on their way as well.
In late June, the Anchorage Assembly allocated $10 million in CARES Act funds to go towards childcare support. Now, the Municipality has finalized the program to get those funds into providers' hands.
The allocation came after a request from Thread Alaska earlier in the year, asking for more support for providers. In a statement to KTUU, Jenni Pollard, Chief Development and Marketing Officer for Thread wrote “Fluctuating enrollments and increasing business costs have pushed programs to the crisis point. This funding will help programs continue to stay open, operate safely, and retain their staff.”
The program is in conjunction with the United Way of Anchorage, which is sending grant applications to licensed childcare providers in Anchorage, according to Nicole Lebo, Human Services Division Manager for the Anchorage Health Department.
“It’s going to be a short, sort of streamlined application, but we are asking for data on who they’re serving, how many they’re serving, if they’re open, if they’re closed,” Lebo said.
Using that data, approved providers will receive two payments, a lump sum at the beginning based on pre-covid enrollment, followed by recurring payments.
“That will also be based on enrollment rates at $250 per child,” Lebo said.
She added that the funds can be used by providers in three ways, extra staff, rent and utilities, or lowering costs for families, something Camp Fire Alaska says will help those caught off-guard by changes in schooling.
“Most of our families have not budgeted for full-day childcare all year,” said Camp Fire Alaska Senior Director of Development and Marketing Joanne Nutter. “They may be planning to do that in the Summer when school is not in session, but they don’t plan to do it during the school year.”
Which of those three options the funds go towards is up to individual providers. A map of those providers can be found on the Municipality’s COVID response website.
Lebo said the first payments from the program are expected to go out by August 14th, with the recurring payments continuing through December.
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