The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law in March 2021, providing South Dakota with additional funds designed to help stabilize the child care industry as the state continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Noem announced in her budget address the availability of $100 Million for Childcare in South Dakota.
Eligibility & Grant Award
Child Care providers registered or licensed by the SD Department of Social Services are eligible to apply for the ARPA Child Care Stabilization Grant. Grant awards will be based on the child care provider’s monthly operating expenses. Providers will receive three months’ operating expenses up to an established cap. The additional allocation may be awarded if funds are available. Additional information is outlined in the frequently asked questions guide. The before and afterschool program cap is defined as $27,000 per program. If you are multi-licensed or have multi-site programs, you can apply for up to $27,000 per program and/or site.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through February 25, 2022, but will be reviewed and approved in two application phases. They will be reviewing applications after 1/14/22 and again on 2/25/22. All funds must be spent by 12/31/22.
What is required of eligible child care providers who accept these funds?
Eligible providers must certify in their application to:
- being open and serving children during the grant periods
- implementing policies, when open and providing services, that are in line with guidance and orders from corresponding state and local authorities and, to the greatest extent possible, implementing policies in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-for-childcare.html)
- paying staff at least the same amount in weekly wages and maintaining the same benefits (such as health insurance and retirement, if applicable) as reported when the application is submitted.
- providing relief from copayments and tuition payments for the families enrolled in their program, to the extent possible, and prioritize such relief for families struggling to make either type of payment, or if a provider is unable to provide relief for all families enrolled in the program, prioritizing relief for families most in need, and child care providers must agree not to involuntarily furlough or lay off employees
Use of Funds:
Providers can use grant funds for one or more of the following:
- Personnel costs, benefits, premium pay, and employee recruitment and retention for an employee
- Rent or mortgage payments, utilities, facilities maintenance, and improvements, or insurance
- Personal protective equipment, cleaning and sanitation supplies, and services, or training
- Purchases of or updates to equipment and supplies to respond to COVID-19
- Goods and services necessary to maintain or resume child care services
- Mental health supports for children and employees
As we learn more about this and other opportunities we will continue to share out information.