Child care providers in northeast Indiana are benefiting from at least $1.7 million in Build, Learn, Grow stabilization grants from the state.
The grants are funded partly through Indiana's appropriation of the American Rescue Plan Act, according to a Thursday news release from Noble County's early childhood coalition. Child care providers there received $359,601.
The short-term funding is for early childhood and out-of-school-time programs that have faced increased costs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible providers must agree to use grant funds to stabilize their operations and build capacity for the future, including spending at least 25% of the grant funding on increasing staff wages and benefits. The money can be used across six categories such as facility fees and mental health supports for children and staff.
“Access to these funds means so much to the child care providers in Noble County,” said a statement from Jenna Anderson, coordinator for Noble Thrive by 5. “We know that some of them will be able to retain staff and hire new staff due to increased wages, bonuses and benefits.”
Providers in other areas receiving grants include those in DeKalb County, $419,500, and Steuben County providers received $582,386.00, the release said. Noble County children will benefit from those funds, as well, Anderson said.
“Because Noble County's child care capacity is smaller than the need, many families have to go outside of the county to find child care.”
She noted that a portion of the $423,181.00 given to Whitley County, too, will benefit providers who care for Noble County children.
Along with funding for providers, Build, Learn, Grow family scholarships have been extended. Families who are in a child care program and have at least one parent working in an essential field can apply through June. The funding can cover all or a percentage of child care costs, depending on income, the release said.
For questions about the funding or related to child care and early learning in Noble County, contact Anderson at 260-445-3369 or email@example.com.