Child Care Program Office Broadcast: Rebuilding Alaska’s child care system with federal disaster funding

May 12, 2021

The following broadcast was released by the Alaska Child Care Program Office on May 11, 2021

The Child Care Program Office is beginning strategic planning to use federal stimulus funding under the Coronavirus Relief Response and Relief (CRRSA) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). As you may recall, CARES Act funding provided capacity building grants to child care providers for March, April, and May 2020, and supported families with co-pays.  The division has received $18.8M under CRRSA, and approximately $73M under ARPA. Additionally, Congress appropriated a modest increase in the Child Care Development Block Grant under ARPA for this federal fiscal year and next.  While federal requirements associated with the funding are being clarified Alaska’s priorities will address systems and structures that build long-term sustainability for child care providers and programs.

We are enthusiastic to engage in planning with the field to promote areas of support, such as: direct services/subsidies; preparing virus mitigation policies and practices; child care stabilization grants; workforce; social and emotional development; data; infrastructure systems; and/or training and technical assistance.

We have been collaborating with state and federal partners to inform our decision making and develop a strategy for the use of funds. Some of our efforts include:

  • Surveying licensed child care providers in March 2021, which had a response rate above 90 percent. Click here for survey results — thanks to respondents!
  • Meeting with our federal oversight agency and resource organizations to understand the requirements and guidance for the use of these funds.
  • Meeting with Child Care Development Fund programs in other states to share information and creative strategies.
  • Reviewing our most recent Early Childhood Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan as a guide and resource to inform planning and implementation to support business practices.
  • Identifying internal needs to successfully implement strategies.

Although our direction is subject to change because of federal requirements, we are expecting to develop a plan through this summer, and begin to implement components of it this fall and winter. As we work through the planning process, we will continue to keep you informed through future broadcasts.

We express our deepest thank you for all that you do in support of Alaska’s children and families.

Alaska Division of Public Assistance, Child Care Assistance Program