NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Financial assistance is now available for childcare providers that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the March 3 tornado disaster.
The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is partnering with The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to make $10 million in new assistance available. Starting Tuesday, agencies will be able to apply for grant money to recoup some of their losses and expenses.
According to TDHS, the grants will support childcare agencies with eligible expenses including but not limited to the following:
- Lost income resulting from closing due to the emergency. Grant awards will be based on the itemized lost operating income for the period of the closure.
- Response and recovery operations costs that occur as a result of the 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 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 coahces that are needed specifically related to emergency impacts such as helping children, caregivers, or staff through recovery, grief, anxiety, stress or trauma.
TDHS says the award amount for equipment, materials and supplies, as well as consultants and coaches will not exceed $1,000 per slot of licensed capacity to care for children.
"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. "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."
Licensed childcare agencies can learn about grant opportunities and apply online at the Childcare Tennessee website.