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ARPA Child Care Stabilization Grants FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions related to the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Child Care Stabilization Grants from the Department of Early Education & Care (EEC)

Frequently Asked Questions

How is ‘licensed capacity’ determined?               

For Group and School Age/Center-Based programs, the formula will use a center’s total licensed capacity to calculate the base amount.  If a center-based program needs to adjust its site capacity, please contact your licensor or submit an appeal on the grant using the appeal form embedded within the application.

Because Family Child Care (FCC) providers’ capacity changes with enrollment, all FCC sites will be calculated using a capacity of 10 slots, regardless of their actual capacity, for the purposes of the formula. FCC programs do not have to serve 10 children at the time of application.


Is a budget required to apply?   What can the funds be used for?

No, a budget will not be required, but, per federal regulations, providers should spend the funding on one or more of the following categories:

  • Personnel costs, benefits, premium pay, and recruitment and retention
  • Rent or mortgage payments, utilities, facilities maintenance and improvements, or insurance
  • Personal protective equipment, cleaning and sanitation supplies and services, or training
  • Professional development related to health and safety practices
  • Purchases of or updates to equipment and supplies to respond to COVID-19


What is the process after I submit my application?

After an application is submitted, you will receive a confirmation email at the email address listed in your LEAD account.

During the review process, if there is additional information required or revisions needed to the application, you will receive an email from LEAD asking for specific revisions.

Once your application is reviewed and approved, you will receive an email notifying you of the approval. The date of your application approval will determine the date of your payment based on the payment schedule. Refer to the disbursement schedule linked within the grant dashboard in your LEAD portal. 

You will receive an email once your payment has been scheduled to keep you up to date on when payments can be expected.


How many months of funding will I receive?

Providers may receive up to 6 months of grant funding during the current grant period, which is from July 2021 to December 2021, based on the month indicated on their first application. For example, if a provider chooses their application for funding to start in October, they would be eligible for up to 3 months of grant funding including October, November, and December.


How will I receive the grant money?

There are two payment options, and providers can indicate which they prefer within the application: 1. Direct deposit or electronic funds transfer; 2. Paper check by mail


If I have more than one Massachusetts location, am I eligible to receive more than one grant?  

Yes. Every licensed child care program site is eligible for a grant; this includes multi-site programs. Umbrella organizations may submit individual applications on behalf of the individual sites they manage, but they may not submit a single application that covers all managed sites, however, because eligibility and award amounts will be determined at the site level based on each site’s licensed capacity.


How do I fill out a W-9 form for this grant?

For the ARPA Child Care Stabilization Grants, the required W-9 information is included in the application so providers do not need to download or upload a separate form.

If you have further questions about how to fill out W-9 information, check out this video to learn how to complete a Form W-9:

Please consult your accountant or tax professional to understand more about your particular tax situation and how this guidance applies to your specific business structure.


Are these grants taxable?           

The IRS has published information indicating that “receipt of a government grant by a business is generally not excluded from the business’s gross income under the Federal Tax Code and therefore is taxable.” Please consult your accountant or tax professional to understand more about your particular tax situation and how this guidance applies to your specific business structure.


Why aren’t new programs eligible?        

The ARPA federal legislation requires that to be eligible a child care provider must be licensed, regulated, or registered in the State as of the date the ARPA was enacted, which was March 11, 2021.


If I have been closed since the beginning of the pandemic but am interested in reopening, am I able to use these funds to support reopening?       

Yes. Programs need to be open during the month for which they are applying, but programs have the option of applying in advance for the first month of payment.  For example, if you are planning to reopen in September and have set a date for reopening with your licensor, you may apply now for September, and receive funds before reopening.


If you have to close your program temporarily during the 6-month grant period (for vacation, illness/injury, or COVID-19 related) will you still be eligible for the grant during that month?

Providers will not be penalized for temporary closures that occur during the grant period, provided they were intending to be open and serving children for at least part of that month.


The application indicates that funds can be used to pay for previous program expenses. How far back can a program go in paying these previous expenses?       

Providers can use the funds to pay prior program expenses incurred after January 31, 2020.


When do I recertify my application?       

You will be prompted (via an email and in LEAD) to recertify your application on the first day of the month you are recertifying.  The recertification process can be done at any time after the first of the month. For example, if you submitted your application such that the first month of your grant is September, you would need to recertify at the beginning of October.


What is the Social Vulnerability Index (SVI)?      

SVI is a comprehensive metric developed by the federal Center for Disease Control (CDC) used to indicate community need. SVI is scored from 0 to 1. It considers 15 variables measured at the census tract level, including factors related to socioeconomic status and household composition.