In case you missed it, the Office of Child and Family Services (“OCFS”) has made available $48.6 million in the third installment of the federal CARES funding to support child care programs and the families who need child care services. The grant program, which has rolling application process through December 31, 2020 (5:00 pm) are available to incentivize reopening of closed programs, restructuring of programs to support remote learning and expansion of child care program capacity.
The funds are made available through two grants, both of which can be applied for through a single online application, although different supporting documents are required for each grant. All required supporting documents must be submitted at the time of completion of the application.
The available grants are:
1. $20 million to assist reopening and restructuring by providing materials and activities to support a more socially distant model, and/or for supplies associated with remote learning to support programs to continue operations.
2. $28.6 million in Temporary Operating Assistance for opening additional classrooms (does not include capital improvements to property).
Proportional amounts of grand funds are designated by region of the state for distribution to qualifying programs based on modality of care. All modalities of care may apply for these grants including Day Care Center (DCC), Family Day Care (FDC), Group Family Day Care (GFDC), School Age Child Care (SACC), Small Day Care Center (SDCC), Legally Exempt (LE) and NYC DOHMH licensed DCC.
$20M for Reopening/Restructuring Materials, Activities, and Supplies grants
Under this grant, CARES funding may only be used for materials, activities, and supplies that will help programs transition to a more socially distant model and support remote learning. Allowable uses of this funding include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Partitions or room dividers for classrooms
- Short-term rental assistance for additional space (which is limited to 50% of the total cost of the rental/mortgage for home-based day care providers; center-based providers may submit for the full cost of rent).
- Cost for training additional staff to increase or meet teacher/student ratios
- Additional supplies to support socially distancing (separate art materials, etc.)
- Supplies for cleaning/sanitation for programs (including legally exempt )
- Wi-fi or broadband access for the program space (which is limited to 50% of the total cost of the Wi-fi or broadband access for home-based day care providers; center-based providers may submit for the full cost of Wi-fi or broadband)
$28.6M for Temporary Operating Assistance Grants
Under this grant opportunity, CARES funding may only be used for transitional operating assistance for programs that are reopening from a closed status, or for programs that are expanding the number of classrooms/groups they are operating. Temporary Operating Assistance Grants will reimburse for a portion of total classroom/group expenses for every new classroom that is brought back into operation during the fall of 2020.
Programs must submit their enrollment numbers from March 1, 2020 (pre-pandemic enrollment), their enrollment at application submission, and their projected enrollment for the month following submission of the application.
All licensed and registered programs that are expanding the number of children served to the extent that a new classroom or group must be added, including those that are open as of the date of application submission and those that are closed as of the date of application submission, are eligible to apply.
A program is currently closed. If open, it would be able to serve 10 children. There are three children whose parents are interested in returning them to care ASAP; however, the program does not break even financially until at least eight children are in care. This grant would help close the gap so that operators can open, and the three families can have a place to care for their child.
A program is currently open and serving its 10 toddlers in one classroom, but would like to serve an additional 10 toddlers, by re-opening a second classroom (within their licensed capacity).
For both expansion and reopening examples, the Temporary Operating Assistance Grant will support up to a maximum of 50 percent of the cost of that classroom (maximum grant amount of $6,000 for the first month of operation) as an incentive to open the classroom. The first month for an applicant will be determined by the date it is required to open. As applicants are required to open two weeks after the date of their OCFS award letter, month 1 will be the month in which they are required to open. For example, a provider submits an application on September 25th, 2020; OCFS sends an award letter with approval on October 9, 2020; the program must open by October 23rd, 2020; so, month one is October. A provider who submits an application on December 31, 2020, and is sent an OCFS award letter on January 14, 2020, would have January as their first month.
In month two of the program, the Temporary Operating Assistance Grant would pay up to a maximum of 30 percent of the cost of the classroom. Grants would support up to a maximum of 15 percent of the cost of the classroom in the third and final month contingent on funding availability. These grant application funding parameters are set forth in the chart below by modality.
Adam Brigandi, CPA, MBA
Adam is a staff auditor who works with both nonprofit and special education clients. His auditing experience allows him to assist in vital audit functions such as systems testing and analysis.