Work Force Support Grants

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is offering Work Force Support Grants to Department of Human Services’ (DHS) certified child care providers through the Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRC).  This opportunity will utilize American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Stabilization and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) funds to support the work force of DHS certified child care providers.

OCDEL continues to recognize the work force crisis faced by many DHS certified child care providers throughout the commonwealth. As the need for child care remains high, providers simply do not have the necessary staff to meet the demand. Many providers operate at reduced operational capacity as more staff leave the industry for higher paying jobs and better benefits.  The result of these staff shortages is a disruption to the availability of child care for families.

DHS certified child care providers who are identified as ARPA eligible will be funded through $27.9 million of uncommitted ARPA Stabilization Grant funds and $70 million of ARPA Stabilization administrative set-aside funds. DHS certified care providers who are identified as not ARPA eligible will be funded through CRRSA funds.

Eligibility

To assist DHS certified child care providers in addressing this ongoing work force crisis, the Work Force Support Grants focuses on supporting child care staff that have continued to provide services to children throughout the pandemic but also supports providers with expenses related to staff recruitment and retention costs.

All criteria outlined below must be met at the time the application is submitted for a DHS certified child care provider to be eligible:

  • Held a regular or provisional Certificate of Compliance on or before May 16, 2022
  • Be open and actively providing child care to one or more child(ren) in attendance at the provider location;
  • Hold a Certificate of Compliance that is not in a Revocation or Refuse to Renew status with OCDEL Bureau of Certification Services;
  • Not be under investigation by the Office of State Inspector General for, or previously convicted of fraud; and
  • Not had their Child Care Works (CCW) provider agreement revoked due to fraud.

Additional eligibility criteria for staff are included in the Instructions document below.  These should be reviewed before an application is submitted to ensure all requirements are met and any necessary documentation is included with the application.

If any of these criteria change after the application is submitted by the provider, the provider must reach out to discuss how unused funds will be returned to the ELRC.

Timeline

  • May 16 – June 17, 2022: Work Force Support Grant application submission period. (NOTE: The deadline for this opportunity has passed and the application submission period is now closed.) 
  • July 1 – September 16, 2022: ELRC will release payments to eligible providers.
  • July 1, 2022 – January 31, 2023: Timeframe for providers to use grant funds. (NOTE: For Staff Retention grant funds, providers must pay staff within 30 calendar days of receiving grant funds from the ELRC.)
  • July 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023: Timeframe for providers to submit the Work Force Support Grant Reporting Form to the ELRC.