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DC Child Care Stabilization Grant

As part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, the District of Columbia received approximately $38 million in child care stabilization funds to support the child care sector through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and recovery. The DC Child Care Stabilization Grant will provide financial relief to child development facilities for unexpected business costs associated with the pandemic and help stabilize their operations and preserve the supply of child care for children and families.

To disburse DC Child Care Stabilization Grant funds, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) has partnered with the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif), the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), Hurley & Associates and the United Planning Organization (UPO). These organizations will act as grantees of the DC Child Care Stabilization Grant and will disburse grant funds to eligible child development facilities (or subgrantees). Grant funds will be disbursed on a formula basis and will help to ensure child development facilities in the District can continue to provide services to children and families through and beyond recovery from the public health emergency.

Eligibility and Application Process

To receive grant funds, providers must meet federal and local eligibility criteria. Child development facilities that are eligible for the grant will receive an email notice from OSSE. This notification will include information on the grantee (Wacif, Hurley & Associates or UPO) that will administer the facility’s subgrant and how to apply to receive grant funds.

The communication will be sent to the facility’s person of record in the Division of Early Learning Licensing Tool (DELLT). If you would like to confirm or update the contact on file for your facility, please contact the licensing specialist assigned to your facility.

Allowable Uses of Grant Funds

Child care providers may use grants funds to cover a range of expenses, such as:

  • Personnel costs
  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Insurance
  • Facility maintenance and improvements
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-related supplies
  • Training and professional development related to health and safety practices
  • Goods and services needed to resume providing care
  • Mental health supports for children and early educators
  • Reimbursement of costs associated with the current public health emergency.

Frequently Asked Questions

What formula was used to determine my facility’s grant award?

OSSE has developed a Child Care Stabilization Grant formula that establishes the award amount for which each eligible child development facility qualifies. The formula is made up of two parts: a base amount and an equity adjustment. The base amount of the award is based on the child development facility’s licensed capacity by age group tier (e.g., Infants and Toddlers, Pre-School or School Age) and the cost to deliver care for children in each age group, as estimated using the 2021 DC Cost Estimation Model. The equity adjustment provides additional funding to providers located in underserved communities or serving significant numbers of low-income children. The adjustment uses the Social Vulnerability Index calculated based on US Census Bureau data as an indicator of community need.

Below is the base amount by age group that was used to calculate award amounts. These amounts reflect 4.5 percent of the estimated annual cost for Quality care, per child, by age group, as calculated using the 2021 DC Cost Estimation Model.

  • Infant and Toddler per licensed capacity: $1,376.28
  • Pre-School per licensed capacity: $826.64
  • School-Age per licensed capacity: $442.80

I have multiple licensed facilities; do I need to complete an application for each location?

Yes, an application must be completed for each individual facility.

My facility is temporarily closed. Am I still eligible? When will I have to reopen my facility if I receive funds?

Child development facilities that are temporarily closed due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for a grant. However, facilities must plan to reopen after receiving the initial grant award installment in order to receive the second installment.

The license for my child development facility is expired. Am I eligible for funds?

Providers must have a current, unexpired license on the date they apply and meet all grant requirements to receive Child Care Stabilization Grant funds.

My facility received a license after March 11, 2021. Is my facility eligible for a grant?

Providers who become licensed after March 11, 2021 may be eligible for a grant if they are licensed on the date they apply and meet Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) requirements. Providers must meet all requirements to participate in the District’s Child Care Subsidy Program, including participation in Capital Quality and completion of a subsidy agreement with OSSE. Providers do not have to currently enroll children receiving subsidy to meet this requirement but must meet all other requirements to participate in subsidy. For more information on Capital Quality please contact, [email protected]. For more information on becoming a subsidy provider, please contact [email protected].

Where can I get assistance filling out the grant application?

Your designated grantee (Wacif, Hurley & Associates or UPO) is available to provide technical assistance, if needed, when completing the grant intake forms. Contact your grantee directly or email [email protected] for assistance reaching them.

Will my facility receive grant funds through Wacif, LIIF, Hurley & Associates or UPO?

Child development centers that participate in the Quality Improvement Network (QIN) will receive funding through UPO; child development centers and homes that participate in the Shared Services Business Alliance (SSBA) will receive funding through Hurley & Associates; and all other providers will receive funding through Wacif.

Eligible child development facilities will receive a welcome and onboarding email directly from Wacif, Hurley & Associates or UPO to initiate the grant process. Grantees will operate their own intake form processes and timelines, meaning providers may receive their welcome and onboarding email at different times dependent upon the schedule established by the grantee administering their award.

Prior to receiving your welcome and onboarding email, OSSE will send a notice to alert eligible providers that they can soon expect an email from their designated grantee. If you believe your child development facility is eligible to participate in the DC Child Care Stabilization Grant and do not receive a notice from OSSE or your designated grantee by Nov. 22, 2021, please email [email protected].

Child development facilities that have additional needs that are not covered by their initial awards may apply for additional funding that will be administered by LIIF through a separate process. The initial intake application shared by your designated grantee will include an opportunity to indicate whether your facility requires additional funding in order to remain in operation. Expressed needs for additional funding will be shared with OSSE and LIIF for review. Child development facilities that meet the criteria to receive additional funding will receive a notification from OSSE with next steps on the process for receiving additional funds through LIIF.

When will my child development facility receive its grant award?

The award schedule for the DC Child Care Stabilization Grant is determined by each grantee. It is projected that the first allotment will be released to providers beginning January 2022, for those providers who have submitted all materials before then.

Completing the awardee information form for your facility promptly will result in a faster distribution of payment.

Will my child development facility's grant award be disbursed at one time? If not, how will it be disbursed?

Child development facilities will receive their grant award in allotments based on the award schedule determined by their designated grantee. For more information, contact your designated grantee directly.

Does my child development facility need to spend its grant award by a certain date?

Child development facilities must spend funds received through the DC Child Care Stabilization Grant by January 2023.

How do I report my expenses?

Your grantee will provide additional information on how to report expenses. In general, providers should retain records of expenses covered with grant funds. Receipts, payroll records, or other documents that reflect expenditures are generally considered acceptable documentation. For more information on expense reporting, contact your designated grantee directly or email [email protected] for assistance.

For questions about the DC Child Care Stabilization Grant, email [email protected].