New city grant program could give childcare providers up to $50K in COVID-19 relief


AUSTIN (KXAN) — There’s now some financial help available for childcare centers through the City of Austin.

The city’s Economic Development Department announced Thursday a new grant program for childcare centers and providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic that could provide grants of up to $50,000 to reimburse eligible operating expenses for centers and providers.

The Austin Childcare Provider Relief is a $1 million fund, and it is designed to “give immediate and equitably-focused one-time financial assistance to eligible childcare centers, including family childcare home providers,” the city announced in a news release.

As the requirements are written now, childcare providers that are Texas Rising Star certified, or ones that can prove they have an appointment scheduled to complete the certification, are eligible to apply. Providers with a national accreditation are also eligible, the city says.

The City Manager’s Office, however, requested the rules be modified since the Texas Rising Star certification disqualifies many of the childcare centers serving east and northeast Austin neighborhoods, a city memo dated July 9 said. Of Austin’s 182 childcare centers, only 52 are eligible under the current requirements.

Centers that serve families receiving a childcare subsidy, owned by members of historically underrepresented communities and centers that have not received other recovery funding are strongly encouraged to apply, the city says.

Austin City Council approved a resolution May 7 to start the fund. The application will go live on the city’s website at 10 a.m., July 1. The application will close on Oct. 1 or until the money is gone, whichever comes first.

The United Way for Greater Austin is partnering with the city to hold an informational webinar on the grant program from 9-10 a.m. July 22.

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