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Daycare providers now eligible for CARES Act funding

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 5:56 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - After months of struggling, thousands of daycare providers will now be eligible for some relief money through CARES Act funding.

These days the rooms are mostly empty at Little Lambs Daycare and Preschool near 44th Street and Capital Avenue. Erica Nicholas is the assistant director.

“Normally we have about 100 enrolled,” Nicholas said. Now? “About 32.”

Nicholas says the struggles started when the pandemic hit and some parents started working from home. Others aren’t comfortable having their kids in daycare. Half of the staff has been laid off.

This isn’t the only daycare struggling.

“The pandemic has just brought about so much that we never expected to have to deal with or support providers or individuals in this state with,” said Shannon Grotrian, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

At the peak of the pandemic, 638 daycares were forced to close statewide. 400 still haven’t reopened. Now, two funds have been set up with 9 point 7 million dollars of cares act money.

The first fund is set to help stabilize daycares that have remained open throughout the pandemic. The second fund will help daycares that are still closed, to reopen.

“In order for them to be eligible they must have a current license and must agree to be open and operating within 30 days of the award,” says Grotrian.

Daycare providers like Nicholas say they are afraid the funds won’t help keep them afloat going forward.

“You don’t know what’s coming next. you don’t know where we are going to go from here,” said Nicholas.

You can apply for the two funds at Nebraska children dot org through September 30. The amount each daycare provider will receive depends on if the provider runs the business at home or in a center.

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