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Northam announces $65M increase to child care access

Day care finds unique solution to help essential workers
Posted at 3:49 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 19:23:43-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Governor Ralph Northam announced $65.8 million in new funding to increase access to child care and support child care providers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our ongoing COVID-19 response and recovery depends upon having a child care system that is both accessible and operational,” said Governor Northam.

The new funding includes $58.3 million in Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars as well as a reallocation of $7.5 million in Child Care and Development Block Grant funding through the CARES Act.

This funding will continue the incentive grant program for child care providers announced in April through the end of 2020.

The program provides flexible cash assistance to child care providers to help offset operating costs and expenses associated with meeting health and safety guidelines.

“Early childhood educators have been on the frontlines since COVID-19 pandemic started, going above and beyond to keep their doors open, ensure children are safe, and even fill in the gaps with remote learning as schools have reopened. This new funding will help them continue to support working families and enable more programs to safely provide in-person child care.”

“Virginia’s early educators are truly superheroes, and thousands of our families rely on them every day,” said First Lady Northam. “After listening to providers across the Commonwealth, it was clear that continuing this incentive grant program had to be our top priority."

Distribution of the funds will be announced by the Virginia Department of Social Services in the coming weeks.

For a comprehensive guide to COVID-19 child care resources in Virginia, click here.