Governor Gianforte, DPHHS Invest $7 Million to Support Child Care Workforce

Child Care Appreciation Day is May 6

 


Ahead of Child Care Appreciation Day this Friday, the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) and Governor Greg Gianforte today announced a $7 million investment in workforce incentive funding for child care providers and staff.

“Through the consistent, quality care they provide, Montana’s child care professionals support the healthy growth and development of our young kids, hardworking Montana families, and our growing economy,” Gov. Gianforte said. “After making significant investments over the last year to stabilize our child care system, this investment will provide further support to our child care providers as they serve Montana kids, families, and communities.”

Recommended by Montana’s ARPA Health Advisory Commission and subsequently approved by Governor Gianforte, the funding will be distributed in two rounds beginning this month. DPHHS Director Adam Meier said it’s intended to provide an incentive now for those working in child care, and then provide additional incentives for those who remain working in child care later this year.


Meier said eligible providers and staff can receive up to $1,600 through the incentive program.

Approved providers are eligible now to receive $600 for the first round of payments, and those remaining in child care are encouraged to submit for a second payment of $1,000 in December 2022. New child care professionals are eligible to submit for one payment of $600 in December as well.


Nearly 2,600 individuals will receive their first $600 payment next week.

“As we head into Child Care Appreciation Day on Friday, it’s a great time to recognize child care providers around the state for valuable contributions to the state’s economy and for their efforts to support Montana’s working families,” Meier said.

Governor Gianforte and DPHHS are encouraging Montanans to take time this week to thank child care providers for the service they provide.

Meier said that licensed and registered Montana child care businesses, including small home environments and large centers serve 22,000 children across the state. About 1,200 early childhood businesses across Montana employ 4,400 child care providers


ABC Academy of Helena is one of the providers that will benefit from this funding opportunity. “My staff and I are extremely thankful for this support,” said ABC Academy Director Tasha Van Nice. “It’s our goal each and every day to provide the best environment possible to help children grow and learn, and the positive impact of this funding to our business will be long lasting.”

The governor has proclamed Friday, May 6 as Child Care Appreciation Day.

More information about this program and the Gianforte Administration’s current activities to bolster Montana’s child care system can be found at childcare.mt.gov.

DPHHS is partnering with the Early Childhood Project at Montana State University to offer the child care workforce retention/incentive payments. More information about this partnership is available at mtecp.org, or by contacting [email protected] or 406-404-1624.

Background:

• Last year, at the governor’s direction, DPHHS made more than $61 million in federal funding available to stabilize Montana child care providers. Currently, 58% of that funding has been obligated. Eligible providers who have not yet applied for stabilization funding are encouraged to do so in July. To date, the program has contracted with 502 child care providers serving just under 13,000 Montana kids.

• DPHHS has issued an RFP, seeking proposals to address child care gaps in communities throughout the state. Proposals are due June 10, 2022. Available funding for the project is up to $15 million total for all funded projects. The target is for 15-20 different innovation projects, funded up to $1 million each, based on the demand and details in proposals submitted.


 

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