Daycare providers react to additional grants for childcare workers

WAFF 48's Romario Gardner reporting
Published: Jun. 15, 2023 at 10:16 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Some grant money may be on the table for workers in the childcare industry.

Those COVID relief dollars are still at work and are now being offered as bonuses from the Department of Human Resources.

Bishop George Calvin and his wife oversee All God’s Children Academy in Huntsville and he says many workers at the daycare applied for the grants in the past.

“When this money comes in, it makes a difference,” said Calvin. “We have some beautiful teachers, wonderful teachers here, but they are like everybody else. They have to pay high prices, for food, their homes and everything. So when this money comes in, it gives them a break.”

The grant will pay for quarterly bonuses of $3,000 for full-time employees and $1,500 for part-time staff, meaning anyone who is on the payroll is eligible to apply.

DHR Deputy Commissioner of Family Resources, Faye Nelson believes the bonuses are a necessity.

“There are individuals who are working in the childcare industry who were making very minimum wages,” said Nelson, “And this was an opportunity to utilize those dollars to increase individual’s income by using the dollars for recruitment and for retention of staff in our childcare facilities.”

The program started during the pandemic and uses COVID-19 relief funds meaning the funds will not last forever. Regardless of that fact, Bishop expressed the hope he has for childcare workers.

“I now see more concern about the daycare workers, the school to preschools and all,” said Calvin, “So don’t lose hope don’t think that this is it. Even if they stop this, God got something better.”

The application process opens Tuesday, June 20 for licensed childcare providers and will close on July 12. To learn more click here.

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