Gov. Northam announces $65.8 million in funding to increase child care access, assist providers

Study: Childcare opened safely to nearly 19,000 kids, resulting in low COVID-19 cases and low spread
Posted at 5:19 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 17:19:26-04

RICHMOND, Va. - Governor Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam announced Wednesday $65.8 million in new funding to increase access to child care and support child care providers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding is supported by $58.3 million in Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars as well as a reallocation of $7.5 million in Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funding through the CARES Act.

First Lady Northam made the announcement during a virtual meeting of the Children’s Cabinet.

This funding will continue the incentive program for child care providers announced in April until the end of 2020. The program provides cash assistance to child care providers to assist in operationg costs and expenses.

“Virginia’s early educators are truly superheroes, and thousands of our families rely on them every day,” said First Lady Northam. “After listening to providers across the Commonwealth, it was clear that continuing this incentive grant program had to be our top priority. I am thrilled we were able to get it done, and I look forward to continuing to support early childhood education during this difficult time.”

Nearly 2,672 child care programs in Virginia—nearly 45 percent—closed their doors at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but due to more than $70 million in grants and other relief, many either have reopened or are starting to.

Distribution of these funds will be announced by the Virginia Department of Social Services in the coming weeks.

A comprehensive guide to COVID-19 child care resources in Virginia can be found here.

Parents who are in need of child care services should visit Child Care Aware at here or call 1-866-KIDS-TLC for an up-to-date list of child care options in their area.