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Legislative Update: Emergency Childcare Grants

I hope this update finds you well and coping with these challenging times.

The Minnesota House and Senate approved a bipartisan relief package to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill now goes to the Governor for his assured signature.

Section 2 of the bill provides for “Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grants” totaling $29,964,000. The key points, as it relates to Boys & Girls Clubs in Minnesota, are as follows:

  • The Dept. of Human Services, through Child Care Aware, will develop grants for “child care services during the peacetime emergency”

  • Boys & Girls Clubs will most-likely be able to apply under section 2.2.4 (line 2.29), which allows the Commissioner to include child care orgs not licensed

  • Senator Relph personally assured us that he confirmed that with the bill author

  • To receive grants, applicants must:

  • Prioritize children of essential workers

  • Can also serve non-essential worker’s families at the same time

  • Maintain service for the period of the grant or until the peacetime emergency ends, whichever ends first

  • Use health and safety practices per guidance from the state

  • Grantees can receive

  • Monthly grant award of $4,500

  • May receive an additional monthly grant of $1,000 if the program serves children: during nonstandard hours, including overnight and on weekends; whose first language is not English; or who have special needs.

  • A program that is licensed to serve 15 or more children may receive an additional monthly grant not to exceed $15,500. The additional grant amount must be based on a provider's capacity to serve children during the declared peacetime public health emergency.

  • Grantees “may charge fees to families attending the program and may not require fees from families whose children were attending prior to the declared peacetime public health emergency but are no longer attending.”

Direct communication between the Alliance, legislators - specifically, Senators Relph, Benson, Housley and Rosen; Representatives Liz Olson, Pinto, Demuth and Theis - and the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet asked for language that was inclusive of exempt childcare providers, like the Boys & Girls Clubs. We thank them for their support and guidance.

We will continue to monitor the grant process and work with DHS for more information and guidance. We will update you as soon as information is available.

While there is no further information at this time, please email me or Nate Mussell if you have questions.

Thank you all for your work, your perseverance and your guidance as we move forward in these uncertain times. I wish you, your families, your staff, and our youth health and safety.

Bryan Donaldson

Executive Director

Minnesota Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs

bdonaldson@bgca.org

612-242-8868

www.bgcmnalliance.org


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