Tennessee offering additional pandemic grants for child care agencies

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Approximately $15 million in grant assistance will be available for Tennessee licensed agencies through the Child Care COVID Relief Grant Program.

The Tennessee Department of Human Services is partnering with The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to provide needed support so child care agencies across the state can remain open and operational during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These grant awards will be based upon the licensed capacity of the agency.

“Availability of quality child care is critical to Tennessee communities and continuing economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” TDHS Commissioner Clarence H. Carter said. “These grants will support child care providers with the financial assistance they need for expenses like cleaning, salaries, and PPE so they can continue delivering care that is safe, healthy, and educationally rich.”

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee will be administering the grants in
collaboration with TDHS. Over the next 4-6 weeks, DHS-licensed child care agencies will be
contacted directly by ChildcareTennessee and given instructions for how to apply for funds through a simplified process based upon their licensed capacity.

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but we’re not quite there yet,” said Gina Tek, senior manager of ChildcareTennessee. “By offering this continued support to child care providers, we are ensuring child care is available as Tennessee’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic continues.”

Last year TDHS and The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee awarded more than $52 million in grants to agencies that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the March 3, 2020, tornado disaster.

Funding for the Child Care COVID Relief Grant Program is provided through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. Additional child care funding will be coming to Tennessee through the American Rescue Plan.

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