The demand for statewide childcare services outstripped supply before the start of the global pandemic. COVID-19 exacerbated the problem. State officials hope a new pool of federal grant money will bolster the availability of childcare services.
The state health department Thursday announced the funding is now available through the American Rescue Plan Act. The $31 million can help registered and licensed childcare providers pay for rent, mortgage and utility costs, cover payroll and benefits, or be used to purchase cleaning or childcare supplies. Mental health support for children and providers can also be requested.