Arkansas’ businesses are among the qualifying organizations that may be eligible for a portion of $25 million in grant funds aimed at creating additional child care resources in the state.
These funds are being administered by the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education (DCCECE) as part of a program created through the American Rescue Plan Act. Up to $25 million in total funding will be awarded with applicants eligible to receive up to $2 million each. These grants can be used to open a new child care center, child care family home, or out-of-school time program.
“Having high-quality child care available throughout Arkansas is always important,” said DCCECE Director Tonya Williams. “But the COVID-19 pandemic emphasized just how critical it is, especially for essential businesses that depend on workers showing up even in difficult times. These grants give such businesses a wonderful opportunity to establish or expand child care at the worksite, supporting employees with small children and acting as a real benefit to retain existing workers and attract new ones.”
The goal of the program is to make quality early care and education more accessible, especially in communities with an identified shortage of these services for infants, toddlers, and school-aged children.
In addition to businesses, other organizations, including nonprofits, colleges or universities, and existing child care centers, may also be eligible and are encouraged to apply.
For applicants that receive the grants, the money can pay for start-up expenses, minor renovations, salaries, equipment, and all items necessary to operate a high-quality early childhood education facility.
Businesses or other organizations that are interested in applying can do so by downloading and submitting an application. The deadline to apply is Aug. 15. Questions from applicants can be sent to DCCECE Education Program Manager Paige Cox at [email protected].