NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Many child care facilities have been open from the very beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic. While the state is stepping up to provide these centers with much-needed relief, some say they need more help.
If you ask Cindy Ligon before the pandemic, child care has always been essential. As child care director at the McKendree United Methodist Church she says keeping the doors open has been difficult.
“It has been a challenging time, most of the child care programs in the Nashville area closed during the height of the pandemic,” said Ligon, who is also President of the Tennessee Association For Children’s Early Education.
Ligon said McKendree United Methodist child services closed from the end of March to early May.
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is administering emergency grants in collaboration with TDHS. Licensed childcare agencies are encouraged to learn about grant opportunities and to apply online by visiting www.childcaretennessee.com.
Ligon said she applied and the money helped pay staff and the bills, but there’s no saying how long that money will last.
“That said, that’s not a sustainable solution to our problem, so when that funding is no longer available; child care which is the foundation of our economic security is going to be really, really taxed,” said Ligon.
In Washington, lawmakers are proposing a $50 million dollar plan in the next stimulus package to bailout the child care system.
For the many struggling to fill slots and implement the new health guidelines.
Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Tina Minnesota introduced the bill.
Like the state, the bill will provide grants to struggling child care providers offering essential services during the pandemic.