OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) announced today that Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) dollars authorized by federal coronavirus relief legislation last month will be used to fund a number of continued, as well as new, interventions to support Oklahoma children and families and the child care industry.
This Child Care Services Sustainability Plan will allow families and their child care providers to plan how to allocate resources through August of 2021. Interventions are subject to receipt of the federal fiscal allocation to OKDHS, and more information will be released upon guidance from the Administration for Children & Families. This plan may also not be exhaustive. As the pandemic evolves over the next few months, additional supports may be provided.
“We realize that the COVID-19 crisis has presented many unexpected challenges over the last year and are proud of Oklahoma’s commitment to support families and children by investing in our child care programs,” said OKDHS Director of Child Care Services, Brittany Lee. “We are committed to meeting an immediate need, but also evaluating the available funding to ensure we are prepared to respond to how this year will evolve. We know the critical role child care plays in ensuring the success of our economy.”
These interventions are informed by the OKDHS Child Care Services True North goals. More information about the agency’s True North strategies is available at www.ourokdhs.org.
Continued family supports through August 2021:
• Coverage of subsidy co-payment for families, paid directly to providers (benefits both families and programs)
• Kith.care provided for designated essential health care employees and other emergency responders (waiver of financial eligibility requirements)
• Sixty days of childcare subsidy for those unemployed due to COVID and currently looking to re-engage in the workforce (short-term waiver of financial eligibility requirements and work requirement)
Child care program supports through August 2021:
• Continuation of $5 added to subsidy rate per child per day based on attendance
• All school-age children approved for the weekly rate
• Business training resources for providers to build expertise in planning and budgeting to prepare for ongoing COVID impact
• Additional child care quality and sustainability payment based on capacity and facility STAR level
Child care staff supports through August 2021:
• Four stipends awarded to program staff with 30 hours of professional development (an increase from two stipends)
• Additional training opportunities through OU-CECPD at no cost to the workforce
In addition, all child care providers will be eligible for additional Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and providers are encouraged to apply. PPP applies to child care businesses that have experienced a year-over-year quarterly reduction in gross receipts of 25% or more. Providers are encouraged to consult with their financial institutions for further details and to apply.