American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Stabilization Grants

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is making American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Stabilization Grants available to eligible child care providers. These grants and the required reporting will be completed in the Professional Development (PD) Registry. Directors, owners, administrators and/or designated fiscal staff members can access the application for their program under the Keystone STARS/Grants tab in their organization’s profile.

Additional information, including instructions, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) documents and previous announcements below. Eligible providers are encouraged to review these materials thoroughly BEFORE submitting an application. In addition, your ELRC is prepared to help you think about the best use of the funds in your program.

Current Timeline:

Grant Announced

August 2021

Recorded Webinar

from Sept. 8, 2021

Watch on YouTube

Webinar Transcript (webpage for easy translation)

ARPA Stabilization Grant - Provider FAQs

Applications Open

Apply now!

Application available until Jan. 31, 2022.

Grants are based on the availability of funds.

Application Information:

On Aug. 18, 2021, OCDEL issued communication on how eligible child care providers can begin to prepare to meet the requirements for application, including creating an account and claiming their organization in the PD Registry.

Read the full announcement for appropriate next steps and contact information for more questions about the PD Registry.

Eligibility for the Stabilization Grants has been established in ARPA, by the federal Office of Child Care (OCC) and Pennsylvania’s 2021-22 Fiscal Code (HB 1348). To qualify, certified child care providers must:

  1. Have a regular or provisional Certificate of Compliance on or before March 11, 2021;
  2. At the time of application, be either open and available to provide child care or be in a temporarily closed status due to a COVID-19 pandemic related reason; Providers in a temporarily closed status must plan to reopen by Sept. 30, 2021; and
  3. At the time of application, a providers’ Certificate of Compliance cannot be in the Revocation or Refuse to Renew status with the OCDEL Bureau of Certification Services.

Additionally, some relative Child Care Works (CCW) providers may also be eligible for an ARPA Stabilization Grant. Information about the relative provider eligibility and application process will be shared directly with those providers.

NOTE: Due to recent guidance provided to Pennsylvania by the Federal Office of Child Care (OCC), at the time of application providers under investigation or convicted of welfare fraud are not eligible for ARPA stabilization grants.

If you have questions about eligibility for the Stabilization Grant, contact your Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC).

Stabilization Grant funding can be used for a wide range of COVID-19 related expenses incurred in the past, present, or future. This includes expenses incurred on or after January 31, 2020, which you have not paid for with other grant funds. Funds can also go towards expenses you anticipate as a result of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on your program.

For organizational purposes, OCDEL encourages programs to think about their past, current and future expenses in the following categories:
  • Personnel Costs;
  • Rent/Mortgage and Utilities;
  • Facilities Maintenance and Insurance (excluding major renovations);
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Cleaning and other Health and Safety Practices;
  • Equipment and Supplies;
  • Goods and Services; and
  • Mental Health Supports for Employees and Children.

Watch a recording of this webinar on YouTube.

A recording of the ARPA Stabilization Grant Allowable Expenses webinar with Deputy Secretary Tracey Campanini can be found on the Pennsylvania Key YouTube channel. OCDEL is developing a number of resources to help eligible programs utilize the webinar. The resources will include:

Reach out to your ELRC for help with thinking about how to best use these funds in your program (find your ELRC).

Read the full announcement from September 1, 2021.

OCDEL partnered with Penn State Harrisburg’s Institute of State and Regional Affairs (ISRA) to develop an evidence-based methodology to distribute ARPA Stabilization Grants to eligible certified child care providers throughout the commonwealth. The American Rescue Plan Act Stabilization Subgrants for Child Care Providers Summary Report will provide information on how stabilization grants will be calculated for eligible certified providers.
OCDEL and ISRA also collaborated to create a certified provider Stabilization Grant Estimator. This tool allows certified providers to input information specific to their program and better understand how much their stabilization grant could be when they apply. The dollar amount the tool provides is only an estimate. The actual grant amount may differ when the application is submitted for approval.

Read the full announcement from Sept. 16, 2021.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Stabilization Grant application is now available to eligible child care providers in the Professional Development (PD) Registry. Directors, owners, administrators and/or designated fiscal staff members  can access the application for their program under the Keystone STARS/Grants tab in their organization’s profile.

Learn how to apply by viewing the tutorial video or the tip sheet.

Eligible providers are encouraged to review all materials on this page including instructions, the Frequently Asked Questions document, additional information and previous announcements thoroughly BEFORE submitting an application. In addition, your ELRC is prepared to help you think about the best use of the funds in your program.

PLEASE NOTE: If at any time during the application process you disagree with information that is listed for your location, you should STOP and contact your regional ELRC. Stop the application process and contact your ELRC immediately if you disagree with any of the following information entered by the system in each provider’s application:

  • The licensed capacity listed in the application under the “Licensing & Affiliations” section as “capacity.” This should be the same number as your CER issued by Certification.
  • The Keystone STAR designation in the application listed under the “STARS Add-on” section.
  • The CCW enrollment counts for March 13, 2020, and/or March 11, 2021, listed under the “Child Care Works Add-on” section.

The ARPA Stabilization Grants are for early childhood education programs, not individuals. In the PD Registry, for Directors/Owners/Admins, the option will appear in their ORGANIZATIONS profile under the Keystone STARS/Grants tab.

APPLY NOW IN THE PD REGISTRY!

The application will be available in the PD Registry until Jan. 31, 2022. There is a robust amount of funding, but as with all things, grants are based on the availability of funds.

Read the full announcement from September 23, 2021.

  1. Subscribe yourself (or the individual responsible for applying for an ARPA grant on behalf of your organization) to PA Early Ed News Special Announcements, the weekly ECE Recap and Certification Announcements for future updates. Click here to subscribe to these e-newsletters and more on the Pennsylvania Key website.
  2. Check your email or see announcements via the PA Early Ed News over the next few weeks for next steps and to learn more about:
    • Eligibility requirements;
    • What information you will need for your application;
    • How you can use the funds; and
    • What you will be required to report on after you receive the funds