CTCARES for Child Care Program
OEC’s new program offers financial support to child care providers during the COVID-19 emergency and helps essential workers get the child care they desperately need.
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How does the program work?
OEC is offering funds — in addition to normal tuition fees — to reward licensed child care programs that provide care to the children of essential workers during the COVID-19 emergency. The program is open to all licensed child care centers, family child care homes, and group child care homes. Learn more about essential workers.
If you had to close your child care program recently, you can reopen and apply for CTCARES for Child Care funding (as long as it’s permitted by your local Department of Public Health).
Who is eligible to apply?
The program is open to all licensed child care programs — you can see the requirement details in the online application. For example, you must agree to follow OEC’s health and safety guidance.
If your program is subject to pending enforcement or has been subject to discipline in the past 3 years, you also need to fill out and sign an attestation to receive funding. This document requires that you agree to spend at least 50% of your CTCARES funds on increasing employee compensation. Download and fill out the attestation.
We also ask you to make a good faith effort to answer all of the questions in the attendance tracking form, especially the information about parent’s designation as an essential worker. We understand that some parents may not want to provide their employer’s name or any other identifying information that isn’t required.
How much funding will I receive?
If you have a family or group child care home program:
- 1 to 2 children of essential workers (full-time equivalency): $200 each week
- Each additional child of an essential worker at half-time (0.5 full-time equivalency): $50 per child each week
The only additional requirement for family or group child care home providers is that at least 1 of the children in your care isn’t your own child.
If you have a child care center program:
- 1 to 5 full-time equivalent children of essential workers: $275 each week
- 6 to 13 full-time equivalent children of essential workers: $550 each week
- 14 or more full-time equivalent children of essential workers: $825 each week
How long will the program last?
The program began on April 4, 2020 and we can guarantee financial support through May 31, 2020 — and we may extend it. It depends on how long the state of emergency lasts and the funding needs for other programs.
How will I get paid?
We process payments weekly and pay them through the state’s financial system, Core-CT. Generally, we’re making payments by check. If you’re late submitting enrollment for a week, that week’s payment will roll into the next pay cycle.
While we’ve been working as quickly as possible to get funds to providers, the initial payments were delayed as we got the program up and running.
Are there limitations on how I use the funds?
We require that a portion of the funding to child care centers and group child care homes be shared with staff who are working during COVID-19 — preferably in the form of increased wages or stipends.
Will my reimbursement for this program be based on attendance?
No — because we know that attendance may be variable right now. So if you enroll children of essential workers at full-time, half-time, or quarter-time equivalency, they count as 1 FTE, 0.5 FTE, and .25 FTE, even if they use less than their allotted time during the week. The exception is if the child didn’t attend at all that week, in which case you would not report them.
Is this program related to the emergency child care for hospital workers?
CTCARES for Hospital Workers (also called Project 26) is a separate OEC program that offers emergency child care to hospital workers and first responders. Learn about CTCARES for Hospital Workers. If you’re participating in Project 26, you can also apply for CTCARES for Child Care funding.
Are there other ways to get financial help for my child care program?
OEC is working with the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and Department of Labor to identify more ways to support child care businesses during the emergency. You can get support from DECD directly by calling 860-500-2333.
How is the provider’s income from the CTCARES for Child Care Program documented for tax purposes?
Providers receiving payment under the CTCARES for Child Care Program will receive an IRS Form 1099 in January 2021. They can consult a tax professional with any further questions regarding taxes.