Alaska Division of Public Assistance, Child Care Program Office
The Child Care Program Office (CCPO) held their quarterly Provider Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. The following is information we shared regarding relief funding and upcoming surveys.
Stabilization and Relief Funds Updates
Thank you for responding to our Phase 1 & 2 reporting surveys. Your answers to these surveys will provide important information for required federal reporting and will help us better serve child care providers in Alaska. Your individual responses will be used for official reporting purposes only. A Phase 3 survey will be sent your way some time in August. McKinley has put together reports for Phases 1 and 2, but are waiting until phase 3 to create a comparative analysis. For more information on Phases 1-3 please visit: https://www.threadalaska.org/thread/covid19-resource-center/stabilizing-child-care-for-thriving-alaska/
In Phase 3, $30.8M Stabilization Grants were distributed to 380 programs throughout Alaska. An additional $5M was awarded as part of the Workforce Initiative, which 281 businesses opted into. These funds impacted the support of over 10,734 children in Alaska. Additional information about Phase 3 and updated details related to the three main documents referenced by CCPO will be sent out in a broadcast in August. For the latest information on Stabilization and Relief Funds from the CCPO, please visit our website for recent Broadcasts and updates: https://health.alaska.gov/dpa/Pages/ccare/broadcasts.aspx
Monitoring & Tracking
As we work through the process of completing the ARPA Stabilization grant, we are implementing the tracking, monitoring, and auditing go along with it. We have been working with our federal oversight agency and internal state quality assurance team to discuss what that will look like for providers who received stabilization grants. As noted, we have requested in all phases of ARPA stabilization that you keep track of expenses, receipts, numbers, etc, in the case of an Audit. Audit season will be coming up, addressing all Phases of stabilization, spent and unspent. Monitoring may occur monthly with a random sample of providers being chosen and we will ask for receipts on purchases to ensure they were within allowable use categories.
We are working with federal Technical Assistance providers to go over monitoring and audit requirements for ARPA. CCPO is working with Quality Assurance Unit within our Department and will be putting together an audit strategy and finalizing the auditing process over the coming months. We work on this process with several goals in mind, which include accountability measures for both federal and state requirements, while also being mindful of the level of burden on providers.
This process is not fully developed yet, and when it is we will share the information and guidance with you in our regular ways: town halls, broadcasts, FAQs, etc.
As a reminder, the Stabilization Grant spending categories can be found here: https://childcareta.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/arpastabilizationgrantsuseoffundsst.pdf
Child Care Happenings in Alaska
There are currently several initiatives occurring throughout the State in the Child Care sector. An overview of the different focus areas and responsibilities is below, and a more detailed document can be found here: https://ddaalaska.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Snapshot-of-early-childhood-activities-6.27.23-FINAL.pdf
- Governor’s Task Force
In April 2023, Governor Dunleavy issued Administrative Order 346 (AO346), establishing a task force on child care charged with making recommendations on several key areas of child care. These areas include workforce, regulations, employer sponsored care, public/private partnerships, affordability, and other innovative solutions to deliver affordable, quality child care. The Task Force includes a roster of 14 members who were previously selected by boards and commissions through an application process. The Task Force is tasked with creating two reports with recommendations are due to the Governor: December 2023 and June 2023. Meetings began June 2023.
- More information on AO346: https://gov.alaska.gov/admin-orders/administrative-order-no-346/
- Task Force Membership: https://ddaalaska.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Task-Force-Members-Update-6.28.23.pdf
- Upcoming Meetings: https://ddaalaska.com/alaskachildcaretaskforce_meetings/
- Contact Denali Daniels for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
- PDG and the Joint Task Force
The Preschool Development Grant (PDG) is federal grant designed to strengthen state and local efforts to build, develop, and expand early education programs to increase access to high-quality, affordable options for everyone. Alaska was awarded a renewal in 2023, and has been moving forward with the associated grant activities. Including:
- Creating an updated Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan; maximize Parent and Family Engagement in B-5 system; support workforce, best practices, and QI; and providing subgrant opportunities.
- Reconvening the Joint Task Force (JTF), an advisory group of individuals working across the EC sector in AK. JTF is a steering committee actively engaged in the update of the Needs Assessment and other associated work.
- $7.5M Workforce Allocation
- A one-time budget increase was passed through the legislature and Governor of $7.5M for “Additional funding intended to increase wages for child care workers and to stabilize child care provider operations.” CCPO is currently working with the Department on a plan for implementation and distribution of these funds. We will continue to provide updates on this as we have throughout the entire relief funds process.
- thread Provider Survey
thread’s provider survey is open until July 31, so please take some time to complete the survey and provide your input. The feedback you provide will help us better understand your needs and develop trainings and programs to help you succeed professionally. Thank you to those who have already taken the survey.
- Provider Survey: https://threadchildcareprovidersurvey.com/
Please note that these surveys associated with these various initiatives will not be duplicative. The organizations and driving forces behind the surveys will be aligning their work as best as possible to not repeat data collection.
The CCPO appreciates the opportunity to engage with providers at town hall meetings and thanks you for your continuing commitment to Alaska’s children and families!
Child Care Program Office
Phone (907) 269-4500
Fax (907) 269-4536