This broadcast was released by the State of Alaska Child Care Program Office on January 30, 2023.
The Child Care Program Office (CCPO) held their quarterly Provider Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, January 24, 2023. The following is information we shared regarding relief funding and our planning for Phase 3 of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) stabilization grants.
For more information on Phases 1 and 2, click here.
Phase 3 will be the final phase of stabilization grants. Application closed in December 2022; funds will start to be distributed by thread in the coming weeks (February 1 – March 31). Phase 3 will be the final phase of funding, using the remaining ARPA Stabilization funds and additional Stabilization administration funds.
- Phase 3 will use approximately $30 million of remaining ARPA stabilization funds
- Providers will be awarded $2037 per licensed spot
- We used several factors in determining the formula:
- Per slot amount based on licensed capacity
- How phases 1 and 2 met the reported need for stabilization
- Feedback received from focus groups and town halls
- We used several factors in determining the formula:
In Phase 3, eligible programs had opportunity to opt in to two location-based community awards.
- Additional location-based funding opportunities in Phase 3 were supported by a grant from the Municipality of Anchorage’s Assembly and Mayor’s Office, and a grant from the Mat-Su Health Foundation.
- If you opted into these community-based awards, you will see that amount identified in your award letter.
With Phase 3, we added in a Workforce Initiative opt-in within the stabilization grant. This is an effort to reach more of the workforce than the ROOTS initiative did, and will help you as a program to build in supportive strategies for your specific workforce.
- This was an opt-in portion for additional grant funding which that amount must be spent on the allowable use “personnel” category. You as a program will have flexibility in how you support your workforce with these funds. That can look like recruitment/retention, increased wages and compensation, benefits, health and wellness for staff, professional development opportunities, etc.
- A specific formula, separate from the one used to calculate Phase 3 stabilization grant amounts, was used to determine how much funding your program was eligible for based on licensed capacity and required staff numbers.
- Workforce Initiative will use $5 million in CRRSA funding
- Providers who opted into this initiative will receive an additional $7840 per CCA count licensing requirement
- The Workforce Initiative funding is intended to support the entire workforce of your program, not just those with a CCA. The CCA licensing requirement is the only workforce-related and verifiable regulation that also takes into account the total licensed capacity of programs. We wanted to continue to lean on licensed capacity because of feedback from previous phases.
Important note on Phase 3 Application Submission
In Phase 3, there was no separate step or email following a Provider’s application submission; a brief message that confirmed receipt of application should have been seen on your screen after submitting, and was the only validation needed. Award letters and checks will be sent out between February 1 and March 31.
Thank you for responding to our Phase 1 & 2 reporting surveys. Watch for the Phase 3 Stabilization Grant Program Utilization Survey following the distribution of funds to eligible programs.
- Responses will be used in federal reporting, and inform development of future funding initiatives
- A comparative analysis of Phase 1 & 2 responses will be finished in spring 2023
- Participation in these surveys is mandatory and a requirement of accepting stabilization grant funding
- In the spring, thread will be conducting two surveys to gather your feedback. One will be for childcare programs, and one will be for individual early educators. Both will gather information about thread services. These surveys will inform how thread can design future services to best support you. Please be on the lookout for these surveys.
- Additionally, there will be more surveys coming to inform the child care landscape, these will be voluntary but are important, your participation is encouraged
Monitoring & Tracking
As part of implementing the ARPA Stabilization—tracking, monitoring, and auditing go along with it. We have been working with our federal oversight agency, internal state quality assurance team to discuss what that will look like for stabilization grants. We have also been using tools such as self assessments and federal technical assistance to guide our process for monitoring and auditing. It will be extremely important to complete the reporting survey on which category you spent your funds. Also, keep any receipts or documents showing your use of these relief funds. That way in an auditing process we can compare your receipts with the amount you received and the category you reporting spending it on.
We will work to place minimal 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.
thread offered several Quality Initiatives (QIs) for 2023. More information on Quality Initiatives can be found here.
thread is also offering free training until June 30, as well as the following resources:
- For Programs:
- All thread training is currently being offered free of charge
- For Early Educators:
- Pro Solutions – the deadline to sign up for this is February 28
To learn more about training and resources and sign up for thread services here.
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