How to Access and Use Your Wage Supports Funding

Wage Supports for Early Childhood Educators offers payments to staff at eligible child care programs. Get an overview of the program.

This page explains how child care programs will get the money during Phase 2, how to use it, and why you need to keep accurate records.

Receiving your payment

All programs will get their payments no later than June 30, 2023.

When you applied, you had the option to receive payment by:

  • Direct deposit
  • Paper check mailed to the address you included on the application

Learn more about setting up direct deposit with the Office of the State Comptroller.

Distributing and using the funds

Remember that there are 3 different types of funds you may receive. Make sure you understand the requirements for using them. 

1. Per-staff payments (base payments and additional payments)

Programs have to give all per-staff payments directly to employees. Your program must pay these funds to staff within 45 days of receipt of the payment.

Find out how to calculate payments for your staff and program.

2. Flexible program bonuses for staff

Child care centers and family child care programs have to use this money to compensate staff. Programs have some choice in how to spend it and there is no date that the flexible funds need to be expended by. Your program could use it for:

  • Personnel costs, such as:
    • Payroll
    • Salaries
    • Other ways of paying employees (including sole proprietors or independent contractors)
  • Benefits, such as:
    • Premium pay
    • Employee recruitment and retention costs like:
      • Staff bonuses
      • Wages
      • Costs of insurance 
      • Retirement
      • Paying back tuition
      • Child care costs

Learn more about flexible bonuses.

Do you own your own family child care program?

If you do, you can use these funds to supplement your own wages along with wages for your staff. Don’t accidentally leave yourself out!

3. Administrative payments 

Programs can use this money to cover support costs related to the program, such as:

  • Social Security
  • Employer share of state and federal taxes

Note that payments may be taxable

All staff who receive funding must report their payments as income on their taxes.

All organizations receiving payments must report payments as income to the program.

  • If your program is for-profit, these awards are taxable
  • If your program is non-profit or not-for-profit organization, this award is tax exempt
If your program is audited

You will need to give the SID/CFDA number for these funds to the auditor.

The SID number is: 11000-16274-OEC64806-12639

Keep records of how you use the money

You need to keep complete records of how you used the funding for at least 3 years. OEC may ask to see it. These records may include: 

  • Program records and other records related to your application
  • Payroll and benefits records 
  • Written attestations from staff affirming they received the funds

Special cases

If you get funding for an employee who doesn’t work for the program anymore:

You need to make a reasonable effort to pay every staff member who was listed on the application. Send the check to their last known address.  

If you try and can’t locate them, you’re allowed to use the funds in a way that supports the salaries of other eligible staff.

If you get funding for an employee who was fired for cause:

You don’t need to pay them. Instead, you must use this money for the salaries of other eligible staff. 

If your program applies for funding but closes before you receive it:

We created this program to help programs stay open. So if your program has closed, you need to return the money to OEC

You also need to contact OEC’s Licensing division to close your program’s license. Call them at 860-500-4450 or 800-282-6063.

Questions about applying?

We’re happy to help. Contact 2-1-1 Child Care at:

Learn more about the program

Last updated April 26, 2023