Massachusetts has received $314 Million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Child Care Stabilization funds aimed at providing economic relief to child care programs impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic across the country. The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) will be responsible for distributing these funds to child care providers across the Commonwealth.
This unprecedented influx of federal funds is aimed at providing short-term financing for child care providers to help sustain program operations despite enrollment fluctuations and ensure the continued availability of care in under-resourced communities.
The Department of Early Education & Care has developed and will be using the new Commonwealth Cares for Children (C3) formula to distribute ARPA Child Care Stabilization funds in up to 6 monthly payments with the aim of supporting early education and care providers’ day-to-day operational and workforce costs. The C3 formula will consider each child care provider’s licensed capacity, workforce investments, and the vulnerability of the community they serve. You can learn more about the formula below.
ARPA Child Care Stabilization Grants will be distributed to providers in up to six monthly payments to support operating costs. This is a non-competitive grant application.
All EEC-licensed providers authorized to operate at the time of ARPA enactment on March 11, 2021 and are either open to serve children or plan to be open to serve children during the duration of the grant are eligible for this funding. Funded programs approved by EEC by March 11, 2021 and run by private schools that otherwise meet the conditions above will also be eligible for this funding.
These new funds are in addition to current state funding and do not replace the existing subsidy funding system. All providers that meet the eligibility criteria can receive these funds, regardless of whether or not they serve subsidized children. Providers will be eligible for operational funding for the months they are open for services to children and families.
Programs will not be penalized for a temporary COVID-related emergency closure that occurs during the grant period.
EEC-licensed providers with more than one site in Massachusetts may apply for each site. Funds will be calculated at the provider site level based on the criteria set forth in the formula. Each provider site must complete an individual application to be considered for funding.
Programs should complete the full application to request funds and then recertify their application information each month (updating it as needed) to continue receiving monthly payments. Programs will receive notifications via email and LEAD reminding them to update their applications each month.
Programs have an opportunity to submit corrections for prepopulated grant information within the grant application itself.
EEC has developed the Commonwealth Cares for Children (C3) formula that will be used to distribute the federal ARPA Child Care Stabilization funding, using each provider’s capacity and staffing levels.
Key components of the formula include:
- Funding amounts determined based on capacity and staffing costs.
- The formula also uses an equity adjustment for programs located in historically marginalized communities or providing services to significant numbers of low-income children.
Per federal regulations, providers may use the ARPA grant funds 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
The application for EEC’s ARPA Child Care Stabilization funds opens on August 3, 2021.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
Accessing the Application:
- To access the application providers will first need to enter their LEAD username and password and click login.
- Once logged in, you will land on the homepage. You should then click on view grants under the “Grants Management” banner.
- If you have one program site this will take you to the EEC ARPA Grants Dashboard. If you have more than one program site, you will need to select each program site separately.
- Click “Apply Today” to begin your application.
EEC is committed to keeping this application simple while still collecting critical information about programs and their use of funds. To complete your application, you will need to provide the following information:
- Information on classrooms, current enrollment, and scholarships
- Information on educator/ assistant compensation
- Confirmation of consumer web page rate and hours information (Providers can view and update this information in LEAD).
- Race/ Ethnicity and Gender of FCC Operator/Center Director
- Attestations: maintaining salaries and providing tuition relief
- A budget is NOT required for this application.
EEC will require a mid-point and post-grant report to collect information on how the funds were used and submit required state and federal reporting. Payment disbursement will be based on the date of application approval. Payment schedules will be available within the application.
ARPA Child Care Stabilization Grants Help Desk Support:
EEC Child Care Stabilization Grant Application User Guide (8/3/21)
EEC Child Care Stabilization Grant Application User Guide - Spanish
EEC Child Care Stabilization Grant Application User Guide - Mandarin
EEC Child Care Stabilization Grant Application User Guide - Portuguese
Visit the C3 Formula Calculator:
This calculator is designed to help programs understand funding they might receive for the ARPA Child Care Stabilization Grant. This calculator is designed to help you understand the funding your program might expect from this grant. Please be aware that the award estimate provided by this calculator is only an estimate based on the information provided. Your final award amount will be determined based on your official application.