September 29, McCook Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) Community 4 Kids (C4K) initiative hosted area childcare providers. Andrew Keck and Nicole Vint of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services attended the meeting and gathered feedback from the area providers on how pandemic aid could be used to help childcare providers. While the details are being constructed and worked out, it was shared the State of Nebraska received approximately a total of $170 million dollars from The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Act (CRRSA) to strengthen the capacity of childcare provdiers.
A portion of the money is being allocated for childcare services. Information as well as an application will be shared by the end of October or the beginning of November as well as requirements to apply for grants. Possibilities that a few of the grants may cover is:
- expansion assistance to increase infant capacity,
- assistance with wage loss during the pandemic,
- procure supplies to engage children and add resources to run business (i.e., software for business, cots, books, etc.)
- in addition, possible reimbursement for taking Early Learning Guideline classes.
In addition, Milva McGhee, Early Childhood Community Coordinator for MEDC shared local incentives available to help childcare providers. The McCook C4K team continues to look for ways to assist childcare providers improve their capacity and quality. McCook C4K looks to continue to offer an infant incentive, childcare startup and expansion grants, and stipends to help providers participate in the Step Up to Quality program. In addition, thanks to a federal Preschool Development Grant being administered by Nebraska Children and Community Foundation is allowed opportunities for Red Willow County providers receive business coaching and new material and training to assist with socio emotional learning.