Jan. 8, 2021: The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is providing a one-time award of $600 to employees within the child care industry using federal Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) quality dollars and remaining CARES Act round one and two funding.

This award process will replace the quality Keystone STARS Education and Retention Award (ERA) for FY2020, and provide approximately 33,000 child care employees across the commonwealth the one-time $600 award. The ERA provided payments to approximately 9,000 child care employees.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Award will be paid through the Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs) on behalf of OCDEL to eligible, certified child care providers. Certified child care providers will apply on behalf of their eligible employees and employees will be paid directly by their employer.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Award is not based on STAR levels–all certified child care providers may apply on behalf of their employees.

Certified child care providers can begin to apply on behalf of all their eligible, certified child care employees starting Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.

The application will be sent via the Certification Services News on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.

Information about eligibility, criteria, application process, approvals, monitoring and additional information will be available via this listserv on Jan. 13, 2021. All applications must be sent to the provider’s ELRC using their preferred contact method (PDF) and received by Friday, Feb. 12, 2021.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Award will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Funding will be distributed regionally and be limited, so applicants are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later.

Reminder dates:

  • Jan. 13, 2021: Application opens
  • Feb. 12, 2021: Application deadline

[Last Updated: 01/2021]