We are sending the following on behalf of the Office of Early Learning. Questions should be directed to tina.shockley@doe.k12.de.us. Delaware Stars is not able to provide any additional information or answer questions.
 
Updated April 23, 2021, This FAQ has been developed to help answer your questions about available funds. The FAQ will be updated regularly. 
 
As a follow-up from the Provider call on Tuesday, please find additional information on the Stabilization Fund, along with call minutes and the slide presentation. 
 
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Early Education and Child Care Stabilization Fund (The Fund) will provide $66,752,816 to Delaware to provide sub grants directly to eligible child care providers throughout Delaware. These funds will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis. The grants will cover eligible expenses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
In accordance with Section 2202(d)(2)(C), eligible child care may receive funds “based on the provider’s stated current operating expenses, including costs associated with providing or preparing to provide child care services during the COVID–19 public health emergency, and to the extent practicable, cover sufficient operating expenses to ensure continuous operations.”   
 
The goal of the program is to help child care providers stay in business and make child care more affordable for families. Grants do not have to be repaid unless the funds are used to pay for non-eligible expenses.  The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) is leading the administration of this grant and is working in close collaboration with the Department of Education (DOE) and public partners to make it accessible to child care providers statewide. Eligible expenses include:  
  • Personnel costs, benefits, premium pay1, and recruitment and retention.  
  • Rent or mortgage payments, utilities, facilities maintenance and improvements, or insurance.  
  • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), 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 to respond to COVID-19. 
  • Goods and services necessary to maintain or resume childcare services.  
  • Mental health supports for children and employees. 
 
DHSS and DOE are in the process of refining the applications and getting provider feedback. Guidance for grant amounts that program will be eligible to apply for will be forthcoming. We recognize that this process is new to many providers, we want to ensure that the application and funds are accessible to as many providers as possible. There will be two separate applications, one for center-based entities and one for Large Family Child Care and Family Child Care. DHSS and DOE will host a provider call to review the application by May 15, 2021, when the application will be available.  
 
Below please find additional details for Round 1 (April 1, 2021 – June 30, 2021)  
 
State ID Number: If you do not have an account in the state procurement payment system, you will need to create an account to be paid, here is the link to begin the process:  https://esupplier.erp.delaware.gov/psc/fn92pdesup/SUPPLIER/ERP/c/SUP_OB_MENU.AUC_BIDDER_REGISTR.GBL 
 
Eligibility: Applicants must:  
1) be licensed by the Delaware Office of Child Care Licensing: 
 (i) open and available to provide child care services; or  
(ii) closed due to public health, financial hardship, or other reasons relating to the  COVID–19 public health emergency. 
2) have incurred costs and/or can project costs between April 1, 2021, and June 30, 2021, necessary to provide child care.   
 
Timeline: Eligible providers may apply on a rolling basis beginning Mary 15, 2021. Each site (physical location with a child care license number or provisional designation) is considered a different program. Each license number requires an application. Each licensed program may apply for one grant only during round 1. Funds must be spent by December 30, 2021. 
 
Funds for Round 1will be limited to:  
  • Personnel costs, benefits, premium pay, and recruitment and retention. 
  • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), 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 to respond to COVID-19. 
  • Mental health supports for children and employees. 
 
“Premium Pay” is additional wages paid during the COVID-19 pandemic to child care staff. These additional wages can be up to $13 per hour above their regular hourly rate. No staff person can receive premium pay greater than $25,000. When facilities issue bonus pay or hazard pay, this extra pay must meet the criteria of Premium Pay ($13 dollars or less per hour and no more than $25000 for any staff person). 
 
Documentation (receipts, invoices, budget) is required to justify all incurred and projected expenses submitted as part of the grant application. 
  • Verify monthly expenses. If a provider is not able to verify an expense, they will be required to reimburse the State.  
  • Implement health and safety policies in line with guidance and orders from the State, and, to the greatest extent possible, implement policies in line with CDC guidance. 
  • Pay not less than full compensation, including benefits, for each employee, and will not take action that reduces weekly compensation. 
If a provider is applying for a grant to make an improvement, the provider must be able to estimate the cost and provide documentation.    
 
If the provider is applying for mental health supports for children and employees, the provider must estimate the cost and provide documentation.    
 
If the eligible provider was shut down during the pandemic, when applying for the grant, must provide an estimate of the costs to reopen.
 
Incomplete or duplicate applications will not be considered for funding until all information is provided. A complete application does not guarantee funding.  
 
Please email all questions to: Stabilization.fund@delaware.gov