Nebraska expected to receive approximately $20 million in Child Care Development Block Grant funds

by | Apr 14, 2020

On Tuesday, April 14, the U.S. Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announced that states will soon receive an additional $3.5 billion in CCDBG funding following Congress's passage of the CARES Act. Although the federal government has yet to formally announce allocations of these funds to states, First Five Nebraska estimates Nebraska will receive just over $20 million in CCDBG dollars, which will be administered by the NE Department of Health and Human Services (NE DHHS).

The ACF’s announcement was accompanied by revised guidance on how the dollars could be used by states. This guidance suggests that the funds:

  • May be used to provide continued payments to child care providers in the case of decreased enrollment or closures related to coronavirus, and to assure they are able to remain open or reopen;
  • Can be used to provide child care assistance to health care sector employees, emergency responders, sanitation workers, and other workers deemed essential during the response to the coronavirus, without regard to the income eligibility requirements;
  • Shall be available to eligible CCDF providers (e.g., meeting health and safety requirements, or eligible relative providers), even if such providers were not receiving CCDF assistance prior to the public health emergency as a result of the coronavirus, for the purposes of cleaning and sanitation, and other activities necessary to maintain or resume the operation of programs;
  • May be used for any other allowable CCDF uses.

 

A fuller list of the key highlights may be found on the ACF website. However, the actual deployment of the dollars will be determined by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, which is our state’s Lead Agency for the funds. Last month, First Five Nebraska and allied early childhood organizations presented Nebraska state agencies with an outline of policy suggestions intended to help inform decisions about how economic relief funds will be used to support child care programs statewide. We will continue to work closely with the NE DHHS to ensure that our state’s child care infrastructure remains a strong and vital support for our state’s economic recovery and growth.

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