Governor Steve Bullock announced May 6 that $10 million is now available to Montana child care providers funded through the federal CARES Act Child Care & Development Block Grant.
Jamie Palagi, early childhood and family support division administrator for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, says about 40 percent of child care centers in the state have temporarily closed during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Childcare, and the industry of childcare, is critical infrastructure in supporting the economy in Montana," Palagi says. "It’s parents who go to work and have children need to make sure their children are in high quality, early childhood programs and that they are safe and healthy. And that then enables them to go to work and do their job.”
According to the state health department, approximately half of the grants will provide assistance to existing licensed and registered childcare providers.
A third of the grant will assist low-income and at-risk children through Best Beginnings scholarships.