Application, Information and Requirements

For Department of Human Services (DHS) Certified Child Care Providers      

Please read all information on this webpage before completing and sending the Work Force Support Grant (WFSG) 2.0 Application to your Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC).

The Work Force Support Grant 2.0 Grant (which includes the information on this page can also be found viewed as a PDF:

Overview

The Work Force Support Grant (WFSG) 2.0 is an initiative of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and was made possible through the enactment of Act 54 of 2022 and the availability of additional American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.  WFSG 2.0 is intended to provide funding to eligible DHS certified child care providers (providers) for staff retention and staff recruitment purposes.

 

While the WFSG 2.0 is similar to the previous Work Force Support Grant released earlier this year, there are some areas that are significantly different.  Some of the main differences include changes to:

  • Provider and Staff Eligibility Requirements
    • The most significant changes are included in these sections
  • Funding Categories
  • Availability of grant funds
    • Funding is limited. Funds will be made available on a first come-first serve basis to providers who submit complete and accurate applications.

General Information

  • The WFSG 2.0 Application is due no later than Tuesday, December 6, 2022 to the ELRC. Applications received at the ELRC with a postmark date after December 6, 2022 will not be eligible.
    • Only one application can be submitted from each eligible child care provider location. Providers cannot submit multiple applications due to staffing changes that may occur after an application is submitted.
  • It is preferred that applications be submitted by email to the ELRC.
  • The ELRC should be contacted with any questions or help needed regarding the completion of the WFSG 2.0 Application.
    • Inaccurate or incomplete applications will need corrected prior to the application being included on the first come, first served list.
  • All grant funds are contingent upon the availability of funds.

Who is Eligible?

Provider Eligibility Requirements

All requirements listed below must be met at the time a provider submits an application:

  • Held a regular or initial provisional Certificate of Compliance (CoC) on or before June 30, 2022
    • If there is an ownership or MPI change, the provider must contact the ELRC to discuss;
  • Be open and actively providing child care to one or more child(ren) in attendance at the physical child care provider location;
  • Has a CoC 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 since the inception of the ELRC.

NOTE:  While the above criteria must be met to be eligible to apply for grant funds, all criteria must also be maintained continuously from June 30, 2022 through December 31, 2022 to receive a grant award payment

  • If a temporary closure occurs, the provider must contact the ELRC to discuss next steps.

 

Staff Eligibility Requirements

Only staff that work at the physical child care provider location address of an eligible DHS certified Child Care Center (CCC), Group Child Care Homes(GCCH) or Family Child Care Home (FCCH) may be considered eligible.

 For staff to be eligible, the following two criteria must be met at the time a provider submits an application, unless otherwise noted:

  1. Staff must work at the physical child care provider location a minimum of 15 hours per week (on average); be paid through the employer’s payroll; and have state and federal taxes withheld from their paycheck.
  • Eligible staff must be working at the physical child care provider location not only at the time a provider applies, but also when the provider receives the grant award payment from the ELRC.
    • Any eligible staff who leaves or gives notice of their resignation of employment after the provider receives the grant award payment from the ELRC is still considered eligible and must be paid their grant award payment from the provider as outlined in the Grant Payment and Spending Requirement section below.

       AND

  1. Staff must be identified in one of the two categories listed below at the time a provider submits an application, unless otherwise noted:

 

A. Staff Person. An employee who is responsible for the direct supervision of a child(ren) at the physical child care provider location and is included on the work schedule.

 

CCC, GCCH and FCCH Directors and Assistant Directors or GCCH and FCCH owners/operators are only eligible as a Staff Person if they:

  • meet staff eligibility criteria 1, as outlined above;
  • are included on the work schedule to provide direct supervision work a minimum of 15 hours per week (on average); and
  • provide direct supervision to a child(ren) a minimum of 15 hours per week (on average) at the physical child care provider location.

NOTE: CCC owners/operators are not eligible for WFSG 2.0

OR

B. Environmental Services Staff. An employee that provides services for children and families at the physical child care provider location; and is not identified on the list below of staff who are not eligible.

 

CCC, GCCH, and FCCH Directors and Assistant Directors or GCCH and FCCH owners/operators who do not provide direct supervision can be included as an Environmental Services Staff as long as they meet staff eligibility criteria 1, as outlined above.

NOTE:  CCC owners/operators are not eligible for WFSG 2.0

 

NOTE:  Staff working in Pre-K Counts (PKC), Head Start State Supplemental Assistance Program (HSSAP), Head Start (HS), Early Head Start  (EHS), and Infant Toddler Contracted Slots (ITCS) Programs are ONLY eligible if they:

  • work outside of the PKC, HSSAP, HS, EHS, and ITCS program hours a minimum of 15 hours per week (on average) at a DHS certified child care location; and
  • work at the physical child care provider location, as outlined above in staff eligibility criteria 1 and are identified as, and meet the criteria of, a Staff Person or Environmental Services Staff, as outlined above in staff eligibility criteria 2.

Staff who are not eligible to receive WFSG 2.0 grant funds and should not be included on the application:

  • Owners of CCC
    • This includes owners who also serve as directors or in any other job role at a physical CCC provider location;
  • Executives;
  • Administrators;
  • Administrative support staff;
  • Contracted staff (includes any staff that receives an Internal Revenue Services 1099 form; is not on the employer’s payroll; and does not have state or federal taxes withheld from their paycheck);
  • Volunteers;
  • Staff who work less than 15 hours per week (on average) at the physical child care provider location; and
  • Staff who do not work at the physical child care provider location identified on the grant application.

Categories of Funding

  1. Staff Retention.  Eligible providers will request grant funds, as listed below, on behalf of all existing, eligible staff.  These grant awards are not based on job performance or who a provider thinks should receive the grant awards.  Any eligible staff working at the physical child care provider location at the time a provider applies and who meets all staff eligibility criteria must be included on the application.
  • Staff A- Staff Person. Eligible for a one-time payment of $2,000 if they meet all staff eligibility criteria.
  • Staff B – Environmental Services Staff. Eligible for a one-time payment of $1,000 if they meet all staff eligibility criteria

 

NOTE:  If eligible staff do multiple roles at the physical child care provider location and those roles are in Staff A and Staff B, then the provider should  include staff in the group where the majority (50 percent or more) of their work time is spent.

  • For example, if a staff person works as a food service staff for 15 hours each week and as an assistant teacher for 25 hours each week at the provider location, then this staff person would be included in Staff A. However, if that staff person works as a food service staff for 25 hours each week and as an assistant teacher for 15 hours each week at the provider location, then they would be included in Group B.  If that same staff person would work 20 hours as a food service staff and 20 hours as an assistant teacher each week, then they would be included in Staff A.

 

  1. Payroll Tax Assistance. These funds are to offset the 7.65% employer portion of payroll taxes associated with payments to eligible staff included on the application. These funds will be paid to the employer based on the amount of funds awarded to eligible staff identified on the application.

 

  1. Staff Recruitment. Eligible providers have the option to request these funds to pay for expenses related to recruiting and hiring new staff. This is a one-time payment as outlined in the chart below and cannot be used for expenses related to any existing staff.

A provider should only request Staff Recruitment funds if they can use the funding to recruit and hire new staff.  If a provider does not recruit or hire new staff, then this funding should not be requested on the application.

Allowable uses for Staff Recruitment grant funds include:

  • Provide recruitment sign-on bonuses for new employees;
  • Pay for advertisement costs for staff vacancies;
  • Pay for new employee benefit package costs (such as, healthcare, paid time off, 401K);
  • Pay for or reimburse costs for new employee criminal and child abuse clearances;
  • Pay for or reimburse costs associated with staff training that is required for new employees; and
  • Pay for staffing agency services.

Unallowable uses for Staff Recruitment grant funds include the following:

  • Pay for any existing staff expenses;
  • Support staff included in the Staff Retention request;
  • Pay for existing staff’s employee benefit package costs.;
  • Purchase of land, new construction, or major renovations’
  • Purchase of gift cards, money orders, gift certificates, travel checks, or any other comparable legal tender;
  • Purchase of materials, equipment, or supplies to operate the child care facility;
  • Payment of mortgages, utilities, or rental/lease payments for basic facility operations;
  • Purchase of alcohol;
  • Purchase of vehicles;
  • Payment toward staff entertainment, including amusement, diversion, and social activities or any costs directly associated with such costs (such as tickets to shows or sports events, meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, and gratuities) that are not professional development related events;
  • Costs of membership in civic, community and social organizations (Kiwanis, Lions Club, Rotary, etc.); and
  • Purchase of any second hand (used) items, including but not limited to those items from individuals, yard sales and auctions.

 

Staff Recruitment award amounts by provider type include:

Child Care Centers Group Child Care Homes Family Child Care Homes
Licensed Capacity Funding Amount $625 $500
999 $625
6-26 $625
27-38 $750
39-49 $1,000
50-62 $1,125
63-77 $1,250
78-93 $1,375
94-113 $1,500
114-138 $1,625
139-180 $2,000
181-598 $2,125

 

NOTE:  If a provider has eligible staff leave after an application is submitted and before the grant payment is made to the provider by the ELRC, the provider must either shift the funds for that staff from Staff Retention to Staff Recruitment or return the funds to the ELRC.

Grant Award Requirements

Grant funds are limited, so this is a first come-first serve grant opportunity. It is possible that not all providers who meet eligibility requirements will be awarded funding.  Early submission of an accurately completed application is recommended.

The ELRC will determine the eligibility status of each provider.  Each provider will be notified by the ELRC of their eligibility status.  If grant funds are no longer available, eligible providers will be placed on a waitlist. If the ELRC receives additional funding from OCDEL, those providers placed on a waitlist may receive grant funds.

Grant Payment and Spending Requirements

Grant payments will be sent to eligible providers by the ELRC between January 1, 2023 and March 17, 2023.  The ELRC will provide a timeframe as to when payment will be sent out.

 

Once payment is received from the ELRC, providers must spend the grant funds as listed below:

  • Staff Retention grant funds, as outlined above, must be used to supplement eligible staff salaries/wages. These grant funds must be paid in full by the provider, through the employer payroll, to eligible staff that were included on the application.  These funds must be used within 45 calendar days of the provider receiving payment from the ELRC.
    • If there is a valid reason that a provider cannot pay staff within the 45 calendar days, the provider must submit a written request to the ELRC explaining why additional time is needed. If the ELRC approves the request, the provider will be notified by the ELRC and will have up to an additional 45 calendar days to pay Staff Retention grant funds to eligible staff.
  • Payroll Tax Assistance grant funds, as outlined above, must be used to pay the employer’s portion of payroll taxes of eligible staff identified on the application within 90 calendar days of the provider receiving payment from the ELRC.
  • Staff Recruitment grant funds, as outlined above, must be used to pay the employer for expenses incurred between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023 related to recruiting and hiring new staff. These funds must be used within 90 calendar days of the provider receiving payment from the ELRC.
    • If there is a valid reason that a provider cannot use Staff Recruitment grant funds within the 90 calendar days, the provider must submit a written request to the ELRC explaining why additional time is needed. If the ELRC approves the request, the provider will be notified by the ELRC and will have up to an additional 90 calendar days to pay Staff Retention grant funds to eligible staff.  However, all Staff Recruitment grant funds must be used no later than 180 calendar days after the provider receives payment from the ELRC

 

If all grant funds are not spent, providers must return unused grant funds to the ELRC by no later than September 30, 2023.

NOTE:  If a provider has eligible staff leave after an application is submitted and before the grant payment is made by the ELRC, the provider must either shift the funds for that staff from Staff Retention and Payroll Tax Assistance to Staff Recruitment or return the funds to the ELRC.  However, if eligible staff leave or give notice of their resignation of employment after the grant payment is received by the provider from the ELRC, then those staff must be paid their Staff Retention payment within the required timeframe outlined above.

Grant Reporting Requirements

All providers that receive Work Force Support Grant 2.0 funds must report how grant funds were spent.  Providers must keep all documentation of how and when grant funds were spent.  Grant Reporting instructions will be sent to eligible providers when the ELRC releases grant payments.

Grant Monitoring Requirements

Providers must keep original receipts for all grant funds for their records for review by ELRCs and state/federal agents who may need to review receipts for auditing/monitoring purposes. All grant related documents must be maintained for 7 years.

  • Receipts may exceed the total amount of funds issued with the understanding that the provider is responsible to pay for balances out of their program’s operating budget for amounts exceeding the grant award.
  • Original receipts must have at a minimum:
    • a purchase date (must be between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023);
    • the name of the vendor or supplier;
    • a description of purchased items;
    • the cost of each item and evidence of payment – the receipt must show a balance due or, if paid, a balance due of $0. If the receipt or invoice shows a balance due, proof of payment must be provided either by cancelled check or a document indicating balance due of $0;
    • the dollar figures for total purchases must equal or exceed the amounts on the Work Force Support Grant 2.0 Award Letter for each category.
  • Payroll receipts/documentation must also be available for review and include the date of payment and a detailed justification for what and why the additional payment was given to the staff.

All staff grant funds must be processed through payroll and are subject to applicable taxes (processing through IRS 1099 is prohibited).

Provider must adhere to IRS guidelines for employers and be responsible for any employer portion of taxes as awards are distributed.

  • If a legal entity is a limited liability corporation (LLC) and must file a Schedule K-1, they must also submit a 1040 Form to document that the appropriate taxes are being paid.
  • For Family Child Care Homes that file taxes with a Schedule C, they must also submit a 1040 Form to document that the appropriate taxes are being paid.

Application Instructions

The application submission period is October 24 – December 6, 2022.  However, funding will be awarded on a first come, first served basis to providers who submit an accurate and complete application.   Applications should be sent to the ELRC by email (preferred) or other identified methods found on the Work Force Support Grant 2.0 Application Submission document.  Applications received with a postmark date after December 6, 2022 will not be eligible for grant funds.

Only one application can be submitted from each eligible child care provider location.  Providers cannot submit multiple applications due to staffing changes that may occur after an application is submitted.  All sections of the application below must to be completed.  If you need assistance completing this application, contact the ELRC.