American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Stabilization Grants
Stabilization Grants for Eligible Child Care Providers
The application period for the third/ final round of Stabilization Grant subawards will launch in June 2023.
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Child Care Stabilization Funds provided resources to states to distribute grants to child care providers to ensure that child care is available to support families and businesses as the economy recovers. Through these funds, we have been able to award over $540 million in staff retention and operations support grants to child care agencies across the state.
Through a different funding stream, we are excited to offer a third/final opportunity to apply for stabilization grants. Overall, we hope all the stabilization funds help your agency navigate through the effects of the pandemic while strengthening the foundation for continuing to provide quality care in the future.
For all three rounds of stabilization subgrants, we built a process to minimize the burden on agencies when applying for these funds. A formula based on an average cost per child will continue to be used to determine the award amount. The calculations for the base grant award amount is based upon cost of care data collected from a sample of TDHS-licensed child care agencies (family, group, and center) in May/June 2021 completed by our partners at the University of Tennessee and includes operational costs such as rent/mortgage, personnel costs including salaries and benefits, food and educational supplies, training and professional development, general liability insurance, and transportation expenses. Using this cost estimate model avoids placing the burden on each agency to collect and produce individualized financial materials as part of their application.
The purpose of these grants is to provide child care agencies relief for operational expenditures. This third/final round will support a two-month period to allow the opportunity to build revenue for ongoing sustainability. Because of this operations support, we encourage child care agencies to assist struggling families through your recurring revenues with child care costs to promote continuity of care.
The Application Process and Distribution Structure
1. The grant application process will be supported through the University of Tennessee Social Work Office of Research and Public Service (UT-SWORPS). The total amount each child care agency may apply for varies depending on their size and licensed capacity. These grants will provide hundreds of dollars monthly for each child the agency can serve to cover a two-month grant period. Award dollars must be spent on one or more of the below purposes:
- Personnel costs, benefits, premium pay, recruitment, and retention.
- Rent or mortgage payments, utilities, facilities maintenance and improvements, or insurance.
- Personal protective equipment, cleaning and sanitation supplies and services, or training and professional development related to health and safety practices.
- Purchases of, or updates to, equipment and supplies to respond to COVID-19.
- Goods and services necessary to maintain or resume child care services.
- Mental health support for children and employees.
2. There are additional incentives included in the potential grant award amounts.
- Agencies who are contracted to participate in the Child Care Certificate Program, as of May 31, 2023, are eligible for a 10% bonus calculated on the base award amount.
- A 10% bonus on the base award amount is also provided for agencies operating in communities scoring .6 or above on the Social Vulnerability Index (SVI). For more information about the SVI, please visit CDC/ATSDR SVI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) | Place and Health | ATSDR
- Child Care Agencies including administrators, educators and support staff went above and beyond throughout the pandemic in providing safe and healthy environments for children. You are our heroes, and we want to recognize your hard work and dedication to serving families and children within your communities by providing the opportunity to apply for Staff Retention Awards, a one-time payment of $1000 for part-time staff or $2000 for full-time staff.
3. Beginning June 2023, all TDHS licensed child care agencies, excluding Head Start and VPK Programs, will receive a direct email notification with an individualized link to an application template based upon the agency’s licensed capacity. This will allow for a more efficient process to manage quick and accurate application review and minimize the burden on child care agencies who want to apply. The projected timeframe for notifications to be distributed and applications to be submitted is listed on the chart below.
The following agencies are included in each Cohort.
- Cohort 1-Licensed Child Care Centers (Capacity is between 101-up)
- Cohort 2-Licensed Child Care Centers (Capacity is between 76-100)
- Cohort 3-Licensed Child Care Centers (Capacity is between 51-75)
- Cohort 4-Licensed Child Care Centers (Capacity is between 26-50)
- Cohort 5-Licensed Child Care Centers (Capacity is between 16-25)
- Cohort 6-Licensed Family and Group Child Care Homes (Capacity is between 5-15)
- Cohort 7-Eligible DOE regulated agencies participating in the Child Care Certificate Program
Round 3 stabilization grants will be available to agencies that are regulated by the TN Department of Education and are contracted to participate in the certificate program as of July 1, 2023. These eligible DOE regulated agencies will be included in Cohort 7, according to the chart above.
4. Upon approval of an application, funds will be distributed through Supplier Maintenance within our state accounting system, EDISON. You will need to be enrolled in this system as a vendor. If you are currently participating in the Certificate Program, you already have a vendor account and will not need to register again. If you are not registered as a vendor, you may create an account through this link. https://hub.edison.tn.gov/psp/paprd/SUPPLIER/SUPP/h/?tab=PAPP_GUEST
Funds can only be issued through electronic funds transfer. If a child care agency is a registered vendor in Edison, they may expect to receive the grant award approximately 90 days from receiving notice of approval of the grant application.
5. You will need to maintain documentation of your operational expenses that were paid through the stabilization grant award. You will receive more information about this process when grants funds are awarded.
6. As a reminder, you will be notified directly through email to begin the application process. We have a sample grant application for you to review below. Applications are for demonstration purposes only.
Technical assistance will be available to you should you have any questions. If you have any questions, please contact UT SWORPS, Monday-Saturday from 7:00am-9:00pm Central. They may be contacted at TDHS_CCP@utk.edu or toll free at 1-833-834-7227.
An FAQ document has been created to address questions related to the process and may be found at this link: https://tnchildcarehelpdesk.sworpswebapp.sworps.utk.edu/ccdf-stabilization-grant/
7. Reporting and Accountability Post Receipt of Grant Funds
As a Reminder: The Department of Human Services is administering these funds in collaboration with its consultant HORNE who has a team dedicated to supporting recipients of Tennessee’s Child Care Stabilization Grants. HORNE will facilitate the reporting and accountability elements of the grant process. As listed on the application and the grant contract, agencies that are awarded funds are required to report how those funds were used and status of meeting the certifications. HORNE is supporting these requirements by communicating to agencies after funds have been distributed and assisting agencies, at no cost, with submission of the required reports and expense verifications.
You will receive an email from the HORNE TN Child Care Stabilization Grant Support Team shortly after receiving your funds. That email will include a copy of the Expense Tracking Workbook. Detailed instructions on how to complete the workbook will be included in the file provided. You should add expenses to this workbook as they are incurred, and expenses should only be added to this workbook if you have documents supporting the expenses in your records.
Questions about grant reporting and requirements for all rounds, including technical assistance with the Child Care Stabilization Grant Portal, may be directed to Horne LLP. Their support team is available Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm Central and may be contacted at support@TDHSchildcarestabilization.com or 866-960-4180.
To help you recognize communications from HORNE, emails from support@TDHSchildcarestabilization.com will contain the subject line “CC Stabilization Communication”. When you see an email from this address with this heading in the subject line, please review the message and act in order to meet your grant reporting requirements.