Posted in Business Practice, DHHS / OCFS

ARPA Stabilization Grant First Deadline Fast Approaching

This is an informational post from FCCAM PLC. The PLC cannot provide you with specific information about your application. For questions about status or updates to your ARPA Stabilization Grant application contact:  ARPAChildCareGrants.DHHS@Maine.gov.

The ARPA Stabilization Grant which will provide monthly payments beginning in October 2021 through September 2022 to all eligible child care programs has it’s first deadline approaching. To receive an Oct. payment a provider/program must complete and submit their grant application by 5:00PM Thursday, September 30, 2021.

As providers ourselves we know how this seems to be just one more thing to juggle at this time and we already have enough on our plates. That said, the monetary return on the time spent to apply is pretty significant.

Programs only need to apply once. You will be able to update program information if needed at any time after applying.


Our understanding is that as of Monday, Sept. 27, 2021 only 58% of eligible programs have submitted grant applications. FCCAM continues to strongly encourage all eligible programs to apply for this grant. Yes, it’s income and you will be paying some additional taxes, but you will still walk away with an increase to your income. You have a good number of options on usage of these funds, such as: temporarily lowering parent fees, increasing staff wages or benefits, cost for mental health support or even debts caused by COVID.

All licensed child care providers and licensed exempt Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP) nonrelative providers that are open and providing direct child care are eligible to apply for the ARPA Stabilization Grant.

This grant is providing a rolling application so eligible programs will be able to apply after Sept. 30th. Applying after Sept. 30th means you will forfeit the monthly installment payments that occurred prior to your application being accepted. (Example: applying in Nov. means first payment eligible for would be Dec. You missed out on Oct. and Nov. payments)


Eligibility is based on the following factors:
• Providers must be open and providing direct child care on a regular basis at time of the application.
• Programs must be in compliance with licensing rules.
• Programs must have a valid Vendor Code with OCFS. If you do not have one you can get one through OCFS. If you received one or more of these payment types: OCFS CARES Act or CRRSA Grant funding and/or Child Care Subsidy Program reimbursement, you have a vendor code.

Here are the requirements that we’ve hear has caused some concern/frustration for providers:
• All program staff must be active members in the Maine Roads to Quality. If you haven’t registered yet it only takes about 15 minutes and the current Licensing Rule requires joining. You do not need to have all your work experiences or trainings added at this time, just open up your registry account. This FCCAM post can walk you through it.
• Licensed programs must be active in the Quality for ME Quality Rating Improvement
System (QRIS). This is also a current Licensing Rule requirement for programs. It also takes less than 30 minutes. You do not need to go for your highest level just now, just get on QRIS. This FCCAM post can walk you through it.
• All owners, directors, and staff must have completed the State approved health and safety training within 90 days of hire. Here’s more info on that. This training is pretty easy to break up into short parts, so can complete it even with the busy schedule of providers and staff.
• Providers must supply on the application their program’s estimated current total monthly expenses. The key words here are estimated current monthly expenses. This is with time/share % figured in. List what you spend each month and what your income is. This info isn’t used to figure what your monthly payment will be, but can be thought of as data the state needs as part of administering the grant.


We hope you all apply for the ARPA grant!

Need more encouragement? Compare this scenario with your situation. Family child care providers also remember that you are STAFF for this grant.

Sole provider / licensed for 6 / subsidy / Quality for ME Step 3

  • capacity: $600
  • staff: $200
  • subsidy: $150
  • Step 3: $150

Monthly total: $1100

Payments start in Oct. 2021 and end Sept. 2022

  • Oct/Nov/Dec 2021: $3300
  • Jan thru Sept 2022: $9900

30% tax on this scenario’s extra income means you would still pocket about: $2300 for 2021 & $6900 for 2022

Author:

FCCAM works to unify, promote and strengthen quality professional family child care in Maine. We understand the critical role of child care providers in the lives of children and families. Through collaboration with other organizations we work to increase awareness of our profession and the value of a strong child care system to Maine's diverse communities.

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