For Immediate Release – July 5, 2022
Stabilization Funds Support Early Learning, Set the Stage for Expansion
Ligonier, IN – After the second and final round of Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grants, Noble County child care providers received more than $1.126 million to support their businesses.
In the first round of Stabilization Grants in late 2021, Noble County providers received a total of nearly $360,000, equaling an estimated three months of operating expenses. The second round, available in early 2022, provided five months of operating expenses. Because more child care facilities were eligible to apply for the second round, the amount being invested in Noble County exceeded expectations. Providers were granted about $766,000, far more than the original estimate of $600,000.
“We were so excited to see more local child care providers take advantage of the second round of Stabilization Grants,” said Noble Thrive by 5 Coalition Coordinator Jenna Anderson. Her office has assisted local child care providers with the grant application process when needed.
These funds have not only spurred the increase of salaries in some cases, but have also provided relief for underpaid child care staff in the form of bonuses and added benefits.”
These funds came from a portion of Indiana’s appropriation of the American Rescue Plan Act. Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grants were non-competitive and designed to provide short-term funding to early childhood and out-of-school-time programs that have faced increased costs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible providers are using the grant funds to stabilize their operations and build capacity for the future, including spending at least 25% of the grant funding on increasing staff wages and benefits. Dollars can be used across six categories of allowable expenses ranging from personnel costs and facility fees to mental health supports for children and staff.
Grant awards were calculated using a cost estimation formula which considers each provider’s licensed program type, average attendance, staffing costs, quality level and geography to arrive at an estimated funding level.
In the four-county Northeast Indiana region, child care providers in LaGrange, Steuben, Dekalb, and Noble counties earned just over $5.5 million in Stabilization Grant funds.
This money has helped our providers tremendously by giving an infusion of funds when it was needed the most,” said Anderson. “What can be used for expansion, which was not within the Stabilization Grant guidelines.”
According to the Early Learning Indiana Closing the Gap Profile, as of February 2022 Noble County only had 28.2% of the capacity needed in child care and early learning programs. This gap in care for 0-5 year olds is affecting the economy, as local employers struggle to hire folks to fill their open positions, and family members can’t work when they can’t find quality, affordable child care.
Noble Thrive by 5 is working with a number of providers, employers, and organizations to increase the amount of child care and early learning programs in Noble County. Anyone who would like to learn more about the work of Noble Thrive by 5 can reach Anderson at 260-445-3369 or firstname.lastname@example.org.