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Indiana launches $540 million grant to help child care providers

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 8:30 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Indiana launched a $540 million grant program to offer some short-term financial relief to child care programs.

The Build, Learn, Grow grants are designed to help businesses and non-profits cover their operating expenses, while giving them some stability.

Nicole Norvell, the director of Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning, says they know child care providers have struggled during the pandemic.

“We appreciate that our provider base has had a lot of increased costs over the last 18 to 24 months,” Norvell said. “And families are having some difficulty at times accessing early learning and out-of-school time programs.”

Amanda Peters, the director of Central Child Care, says she jumped at the opportunity to apply for the grant.

“I think it is a wonderful opportunity,” Peters said. “And we will be able to do a lot of things that we wouldn’t be able to do as a nonprofit organization.”

The grants are funded by the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act.

You can apply through Dec. 30, 2021.

“As soon as their application is approved, they will see payment in their bank account within three weeks,” Norvell said.

The amount of money each program can receive is capped at $500,000. Norvell says that about 3,500 programs in the state are eligible to apply.

“We already have 370 applications in the system right now, which is great,” Norvell said. “And so that’s really exciting.”

Peters says making sure child care providers have the necessary funding to stay operational is important.

“Child care is a huge thing,” Peters said. “It’s the first time that children start learning. And they start getting a grip on life. I think it is a wonderful opportunity.”

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