CTCARES Programs

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) created a series of short-term CTCARES programs to help families and child care providers. They offered access to child care, financial help, and more. While our CTCARES programs are now closed, you can learn more about them below.

CTCARES for Child Care Businesses

CTCARES for Child Care Businesses included a number of subsidies to help reduce business expenses:

  • Expense Kickstart: A lump sum for expenses like payroll, utilities, and rent or mortgage to help programs open and stay open
  • Supply Subsidy: This funding helped cover the added costs of maintaining a healthy environment for children, families, and staff — including cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), and nurse/medical consultation during COVID-19
  • Training subsidy: This subsidy helped cover the cost of First Aid, CPR, Medication Administration, and Emergency Anaphylactic Medication Administration (“EpiPen®”) certification
  • Background check subsidy: We’ll covered the cost of background checks — both for new hires and licensed providers who need to renew

CTCARES for Family Child Care

Logo: CTCARES Children and Families

This program offered licensed family child care providers access to supports during COVID-19. Our goal was to help programs succeed so providers could continue to do their vital work.

CTCARES for Family Child Care brought together a number of different resources — such as access to health consults, behavioral health experts, and support lines — that providers accessed through affiliation in a family child care network.

CTCARES for Hospital Workers (also called Project 26)

Launched: March 23, 2020
June 26, 2020
Purpose: Offering access to emergency child care for hospital workers and EMTs

CTCARES for Hospital Workers logo

This was the first program launched by OEC in response to COVID-19, since healthcare workers played a key part in the public health emergency response.

With a generous gift from Dalio Philanthropies, 28 child care locations were opened to serve workers at 29 hospitals. This project was a collaboration with the OEC, Capitol Region Education Council (CREC), community-based providers, hospital human resource departments, and 2-1-1 Child Care.

“Project 26 has been a huge blessing to help make sure my kids educational needs are being met during this time. As an essential employee having a safe place to send my children is necessary. The staff is amazing! Thanks again!” 

—Project 26 parent

“I am very limited on resources for child care. Due to my employment at the hospital, my babysitter did not feel safe to continue to provide care. All my immediate family members have day jobs and are unable to assist. I appreciate the help given. It has made going to work possible. Thank you!” 

— Project 26 Parent

CTCARES for Child Care

Launched: April 4, 2020
Closed for new applications:
July 3, 2020
Purpose: Offering financial help to child care providers who provided care for the children of essential workers

CTCARES for Child Care logo

This program provided additional funding for any licensed child care providers — centers, group family child care homes, and family child care homes — who remained open and served essential workers during the COVID-19 emergency.

CTCARES for Child Care was the second program launched by the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) in response to COVID-19. It was paid for with federal CARES ACT funding. The amount of funding depended on the type of program and the number of children served.

For licensed family child care homes:

  • 1 to 2 children of essential workers: $200 each week
  • Each additional child of an essential worker at half-time: $50 per child each week.

For licensed child care centers:

  • 1 to 5 full-time equivalent children: $275 each week
  • 6 to 12 full-time equivalent children: $550 each week
  • 14 or more full-time equivalent children: $825 each week


Number of children Served11,633
Average assistance per child$502
Total amount expended for FY20 Federal CARES Act Funds$4,244,150
Total amount to be expended for FY21 Federal CARES Act Funds$1,590,000
Total cost$5,834,150

Have questions about CTCARES for Child Care?

Email us at cccc.oec@ct.gov.

CTCARES for Frontline Workers

Program launched: April 27, 2020
Closed for new applications:
June 15, 2020
Purpose: Helping essential workers pay for child care

CTCARES for Frontline Workers logo

This program — the third CTCARES initiative — helped frontline workers pay for licensed care at a child care center, family child care home, or group child care home.

Frontline workers included:

  • First responders
  • Child care workers
  • Grocery workers
  • Workers at state facilities
  • Home/group home care workers (for seniors, youth, mental health or people with disabilities)
  • People who provide in-person services to any of the above

Have questions about CTCARES for Frontline Workers?

Send an email to OEC.CCFW@ct.gov.

Last updated July 3, 2023