A number of financial opportunities exist to stabilize and strengthen Nebraska's child care infrastructure through Nebraska's $20 million allocation of federal funds from passage of the CARES Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other federally funded grant and loan options also are available.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has announced the following grant opportunities:
Child care provider stabilization grants
With applications expected to be available in early July, these o
ne-time grant awards to family child care homes ($3,500) and center-based programs ($5,500) may be used to cover operational costs, rent and mortgage, staff salaries, cleaning and personal protective supplies and related needs. Approximate funding: $8,705,000
Incentive grants for reopening child care programs
: These grants facilitate reopening of child care programs that have temporarily suspended operations during the public health emergency. Providers must commit to reopening within 30 days, participate in quality improvement initiatives and deliver care to children of low-income families or parents working in essential occupations. Approximate funding: $1,000,000
Child care relief fund grants:
These funds are set aside for eligible child care providers who are on the waitlist for the grants administered by Nebraska Children and Families Foundation and the Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative. Approximate
Other financial relief options for child care providers include:
SBA EIDL loans
: Long-term, low-interest loans intended to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Applications already submitted will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act
xtends the “covered period,” reduces the proportion of proceeds that must be spent on payroll costs and establishes a "safe harbor" for businesses unable to return to their pre-pandemic business level due to compliance with health and safety guidelines for slowing the spread of the virus.
Small Business Stabilization grants
: Deadline to apply is
Friday, June 26
. Nebraska businesses, including child care centers, with 5 to 49 employees that have closed or sustained a loss of revenue or employment since March 13 are eligible to apply. Each grant is $12,000; non-profit organizations are not eligible for these grants.
New federal bill: A bill currently in Congress (HR7027 and S. 3874) would create the Child Care Stabilization Fund and appropriate $50 billion to the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Grants would enable child care providers who have remained open or temporarily closed due to COVID-19 to continue or resume operations. We'll update information on this important legislation as it's available.