What Child Care Providers Need to Know About CARES Act Funding

Kent County recently awarded First Steps Kent $450,000 in federal CARES Act dollars to assist licensed child care providers. This grant funding will be used to distribute easy-to-clean toys/curriculum/materials and additional cleaning supplies. Additionally, First Steps Kent will provide technical assistance.

Licensed providers (Center, Group, and Family) will be able to order easy to clean toys/curriculum/materials. We are working with a vendor so that your order will be sent directly to your home or center. To enroll in the program please complete this registration form by November 15, 2020.

We are in the process of sourcing needed health and safety cleaning supplies. Once we’ve secured a source, we will let you know what the process will be for obtaining those items.

We are also in the process of establishing a technical assistance navigation plan to assist with filling out grant forms, unemployment (UIA) navigation, help related to tax preparation, and Human Resource questions in response to COVID-19. Once we have navigators in place, we will let you know how and who you can contact for that assistance.

Please know that the Kent Child Care Crisis Response Team continues to work on your behalf. We recognize that this is a difficult time and that many supports haven’t come soon enough.

Here are the answers to the questions we've received so far:

Is there an application process? You need to be a licensed child care provider in Kent County (Family, Group, or Center). To enroll in the program please complete this registration form by November 15, 2020

Will providers receive direct funding of any kind? No, First Steps Kent was awarded the CARES Act Funding to distribute easy-to-clean toys and materials, cleaning supplies, and to provide technical assistance (all three are currently in process and more information will be forthcoming). For local grant funding, please work with the Small Business Recovery Program.

How will you distribute easy-to-clean toys and materials? We are working directly with Discount School Supply. Providers will be notified of the amount they can spend along with additional instructions once they complete the registration form. They will not be given the funds directly, instead, they will have a credited account at Discount School Supply for their threshold amount up to $500 based on license type, not capacity.

How will you distribute cleaning, health, and safety products? We are working to source these supplies. We may need to set up a distribution drive-thru, as we have done before. More information to come.

If you are a provider that didn’t get the initial email, please visit the First Steps Kent Shared Services Page. There is a form at the bottom of the page to fill out. The Shared Services Project Manager is responding to those requests and verifying licenses. 

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