Much-needed help is coming to child care centers across Tennessee.

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is expanding its partnership with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and administering $10 million in grant money to help licensed childcare agencies that were impacted by the recent COVID-19 emergency and the March 3 tornado.

Licensed child care agencies will be able to apply for assistance with, but not limited to the following expenses:

• Lost Income resulting from closing due to the disaster/emergency. Grant awards will be based on the itemized lost operating income for the period of closure.

• Response and recovery operations costs that occur as a result of the disaster/emergency such as cleaning, utility repair, inspections, and substitute staffing. Grant awards will be based on the costs incurred.

• Equipment, materials and supplies that were lost or compromised as a result of the disaster/emergency such as area rugs, soft toys like stuffed animals, books, curriculum, learning tools and displays, damaged cabinets and shelving, supplies, and playground surfacing and equipment.

• Consultants and coaches that are needed specifically related to disaster/emergency impacts such as helping children, caregivers, or staff through recovery, grief, anxiety, stress, or trauma.

“We are honored to work with TDHS to support our vital child care agencies in Tennessee. This grant provides immediate relief to maintain educator salaries and relieve families of the debt of paying child care fees during this difficult time,” said Gina Tek, senior manager of ChildcareTennessee.

Counties eligible for the Tornado Relief Grant include Benton, Carroll, Cumberland, Gibson, Humphreys, Morgan, Putnam, Smith, Wilson and parts of Davidson County.

Child care agencies closed due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic can apply for reimbursement of lost income, up to a maximum of 30 days. This will allow agencies to continue to pay staff, preventing layoffs. Agencies would be eligible to apply for reimbursement of lost income upon completing one week of closure and can reapply at designated intervals, as instructed through the CFMT process.

Licensed agencies can apply for the Tornado Relief Grant, COVID-19 Support Grant and General Support and Enhancement Grant on ChildcareTennessee.com. Child care agencies not yet registered on ChildcareTennessee.com will need to register before applying. Child care directors can register now and set up an account for free.

For more information about each of these grants and resources for child care agencies, visit www.cfmt.org/childcaretennessee.

Submitted to the Democrat

Submitted to the Democrat

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