The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) will accept grant applications for the next round of child care employee bonuses starting Tuesday, Feb. 21.
Licensed child care providers have until March 17 to apply for the grants that pay for quarterly bonuses of $3,000 for full-time employees and $1,500 for part-time staff. Now in the sixth quarter, Child Care Workforce Stabilization grants aim to help child care providers recruit and retain workers as the industry recovers from the pandemic.
“These grants remain an important piece of the puzzle for addressing the challenges facing child care providers,” said Alabama DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner. “DHR and our partners will continue to support these vital businesses and their workers using all the tools at our disposal.”
DHR has awarded 6,935 grants to child care providers since the initiative was announced in November 2021. More than 11,800 employees received bonuses for the fifth quarter, an increase of nearly 18 percent compared to the first quarter.
In July 2022, DHR doubled the original bonus amounts for all remaining quarters to give child care providers an extra edge amid a highly competitive job market and to reward current employees. The two-year grant period is scheduled to end in September 2023.
To qualify, providers must be licensed, operating and in good standing with DHR when they apply. They also must remain in operation for at least one year after receiving a grant.
The grants are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.
Applications, grant schedules and additional eligibility requirements are available at: dhr.alabama.gov/child-care.