Child Care Provider Relief Program

Hamilton County CARES Child Care Provider Relief Program Helps Stabilize Local Child Care Centers

Hamilton County Commissioners are using CARES Act funding to stabilize Hamilton County child care providers from financial loss associated with operating under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care (TPCC) license as they served children and families from Hamilton County using Publicly Funded Child Care. 

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State of Ohio created the TPCC license for child care providers who were providing child care for those working in essential businesses, including healthcare workers.  This temporary license (effective March 26 through May 30, 2020) included rule changes needed to ensure the health and safety for children and providers. As such, child care programs licensed to offer this emergency care had to operate under smaller group sizes and more robust safety measures. 

The child/teacher ratio and other rule changes during the pandemic pushed the average cost to around $350 per week per child, while the State reimbursement rate for low-income children remained at $230. Most child care providers already were operating under razor thin margins before the pandemic. 

Hamilton County committed to help offset the funding gap for those pandemic daycare providers that served over 3,000 children who are 100% low income and approximately 60% minorities.

The impact of COVID-19 on our local child care system is concerning. Originally, 114 child care centers and 290 family child care (FCC) providers applied to operate under this emergency pandemic child care license. However, the high-cost of operating under this license caused a number of these programs to close.  According to child care oversight agencies, only 80 child care centers and 250 family child care providers stayed open to provide services under the Pandemic License, and nearly all of them suffered a negative impact on their revenue versus cost due to COVID-19.

Hamilton County will use $2.3 million of its CARES Act funding to assist these child care providers. Specifically, the goal of this program is to ensure the  financial viability of child care centers which were open through the pandemic and have had disruption to their current economic model due to social distancing and other additional cost requirements such as cleaning, maintaining PPE equipment etc. As the community reopens, keeping our childcare infrastructure intact will be increasingly important to support those returning to work.  Assistance will be provided to childcare providers that meet established eligibility and are able to document a funding gap between revenue and expenses while they operated between March 26 and May 30. 4C for Children, a local child care oversight agency has been contracted  to provide support services for this Child Care Provider Reimbursement Initiative.

Applications are now closed as of the deadline of August 25, 2020.

Posted on 08/05/2020