DCDEE Memo: May 14, 2020 New Operational Grants for Open Child Care Programs

The North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) will provide operational grants to licensed child care facilities that are open for all or part of April, May, and June. The operational grants will help providers cover monthly fixed operating costs during these three months of the COVID-19 crisis, recognizing that revenues from parent fees are significantly lower as non-essential workers have kept their children home with them.


Who will receive operational grants?
Child care programs who were open in April or reopen in May or June will receive operational grants. In April, DCDEE required providers to submit an Emergency Child Care Provider application to remain open, as well as complete a COVID-19 Child Care Provider Survey to report whether they were open or closed. Child care programs will receive operational grants for April if they were approved as an emergency child care provider and indicated they were open on the daily provider survey.


How much will child care facilities receive?
Child care centers will receive between $500 and $30,000 per month. Family child care homes will receive between $359 and $2,500 per month. The amount of the individual grants will vary based on the following factors:
  • Total number of children served prior to COVID-19:  Programs serving more children will receive larger grants.
  • Star rating:  Programs with a higher star rating will receive larger grants because of the higher cost to meet higher standards.
  • Infant toddler enrollment:  Programs serving infants and toddlers will receive larger grants to account for higher staffing and fixed costs associated with caring for infants and toddlers.
  • Serving subsidy children:  Programs that have served subsidy children in the past 12 months will receive larger grants than programs that do not serve families and children receiving child care subsidy. Federal Child Care Development Funds are intended to increase access to quality care for families and children with low incomes. However, because of the unique challenges programs are facing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, all programs will receive some level of grant support.
  • Subsidy density (the percentage of children enrolled who receive child care subsidy):  Because DCDEE is continuing to stabilize child care subsidy monthly payments to child care providers based on February enrollment, programs that have higher percentages of children on subsidy are getting more of their typical monthly revenue covered than programs that have lower percentages of children on subsidy and rely more heavily on private fees from parents. Therefore, programs with lower percentages of children on subsidy will receive larger grants.
When will the operational grants be awarded?
If the child care facility was open in April, the operational grants will be awarded next week. It will be a combined payment for April and May (two months' worth of grants).
If the child care facility reopens in May, the operational grants will be awarded in mid-June. It will be a combined payment for May and June (two months' worth of grants).
Do child care facilities need to do anything to receive an operational grant?
No. DCDEE will issue the operational grants for April based on whether child care facilities were open and based on the individual facility's characteristics. For programs that are reopening in May, DCDEE will issue operational grants to programs that are reopening (which involves submitting a COVID-19 Child Care Provider Reopening Application and completing the COVID-19 Child Care Provider Survey).


How can child care facilities find out how much their grant awards will be?
Please contact Arlette Lambert at (919) 703-5262 or dcdee.communications@dhhs.nc.gov to find out how much your facility will receive in operational grants.  All questions received will be responded to within 24 hours.