Governor Stitt and Human Services Secretary Justin Brown Announce $9.6 Million in Child Care Stabilization Funds
Governor Kevin Stitt and Human Services Secretary Justin Brown announced today that approximately $9.6 million in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) will be awarded to more than 2,200 childcare centers across Oklahoma to support the industry's efforts to deliver safe, essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Childcare workers have been on the front lines of delivering stable care for Oklahoma's children throughout this pandemic, and their ability to safely provide services will be a critical component in reviving Oklahoma's economy," said Governor Stitt. "This supplemental funding will help stabilize the childcare industry as it continues to provide a critical resource for our state in the days and months ahead."
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) will deliver the one-time funds as Child Care Quality and Sustainability Payments to childcare providers who have maintained active status since March 15, 2020. Payment amounts will be tiered based on OKDHS's Reaching for the Stars Quality Rating and Improvement System program.
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"A fully-functional, high-quality childcare sector is critical to the success of Oklahoma's children and families. That is even more true today as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis," said Secretary Brown. "This infusion of CARES Act funding will help ensure the future sustainability of the industry, ultimately providing critical resources to parents and caregivers during this difficult time. We are grateful to Governor Stitt for his leadership on this issue."
Childcare providers will not be required to submit an application. Payments will be disbursed to licensed providers automatically based on their Star rating and active status by September 15, 2020.
OKDHS also recently announced several other funding opportunities available to childcare providers including technology grants to provide online learning in partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Education. OKDHS previously announced additional financial interventions, to include a $5 per-day, per-child increase for children receiving a subsidy through the Child Care Development Block Grant and as well as an extension to December 2020 for funding of all subsidy co-payments for families.