Deadline looming on state issuance of funds toward Child Care and Development Block Grant

Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 7:50 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The deadline is looming for state agencies to obligate money under the American Rescue Plan Act.

One of those entities includes going toward Child Care and Development Block Grants. This would allow the CCDBG to allocate extra funds toward child care subsidies for low-income, working families with children under 13.

13 Action News spoke with those of two childcare facilities who say the funds they received through the American Rescue Plan Act helped them stay open through the pandemic.

President Biden signed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, the American Rescue Plan Act, into law in March of 2021. $39 billion was dedicated to child care relief funding.

“It helped us with workforce recruitment, it helped with employee incentives, children activities, bringing new things into our building for quality purposes, helping the children move forward in regards to development and growth. said Michelle Bieber, owner of Over the Rainbow Early Learning Center. “So it’s been extremely helpful to keep things a little bit sustainable.”

Bieber says the extra funds have helped, but her cost of doing business has gone up, too.

“Employment rates in regards to what I’m paying staff has gone up almost 25%,“ said Bieber. “The impacts of this, meaning for the last three years, it has helped us because currently I am sitting at 50% enrollment in one building and 70% at another.”

Fatima Abdelkarim, director of Childcare Adventures, says she’s in the same boat, too.

“It helped with our staffing, it helped with our children also,” said Abdelkarim. “There was awhile where they didn’t have to pay their co-pays now I’m having difficulties getting their co-pays in. We will arrange to get our children more supplies that are needed to get to their goals and so on, but that has to be all cut down.”

Both Bieber and Abdelkarim say that the children are their motivation.

“We just keep on working and try to do what our best is because we are in the business of children and we want to give the children the best.” said Abdelkarim.

“Just going into a classroom they exude optimism so when it does come to being in the world of childcare and doing this for a very long time, optimism is that we’ve never been here before so things have got to look up.” said Bieber.

The deadline for this distribution is Sept. 30, so the state has until then to determine where exactly all the funds will go.

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