The Tennessee Department of Human Services announced Tuesday that it is partnering with The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to make $10 million in new assistance available to help licensed childcare agencies that were impacted by the recent COVID-19 emergency and the March 3 tornado disaster. As of Tuesday, March 24, agencies are able to apply for grant money to recoup some of their losses and expenses.
“The COVID-19 emergency and recent tornado disaster have combined to create substantial challenges for our child care partners,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes in the release. “These grants will provide the assistance agencies need to sustain critical staff and operations resources as they respond to and recover from these events. Parents, businesses, and children all depend on quality early childhood education that’s safe and healthy.”
The grants are available to support licensed child care agencies with eligible expenditures including but not limited to:
- Lost Income resulting from closing due to the disaster/emergency. Grant awards will be based on the itemized lost operating income for the period of closure.
- Response and Recovery Operations Costs that occur as a result of the disaster/emergency such as cleaning, utility repair, inspections, and substitute staffing. Grant awards will be based on the costs incurred.
- Equipment, Materials and Supplies that were lost or compromised as a result of the disaster/emergency such as area rugs, soft toys like stuffed animals, books, curriculum, learning tools and displays, damaged cabinets and shelving, supplies, and playground surfacing and equipment.
- Consultants and Coaches that are needed specifically related to disaster/emergency impacts such as helping children, caregivers, or staff through recovery, grief, anxiety, stress, or trauma.
The release said the award amount for the equipment, materials & supplies and consultants and coaches categories will not exceed $1,000 per slot of licensed capacity to care for children.
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee will be administering the grants in collaboration with TDHS, the release said. Licensed childcare agencies are encouraged to learn about grant opportunities and to apply online by visiting www.childcaretennessee.com.
The release said funding for the emergency grants is provided through the federal Child Care and Development Fund that provides funding to state programs that offer assistance to families with low-income through subsidized child care, activities and services to improve the quality and availability of child care, and the regulation of child care agencies throughout the state.
Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at www.tn.gov/humanservices.