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Indiana announces $540 million grant program aiming to stabilize child care industry

By Jeanie Lindsay, IPB News | Published on in Business, Education, Family Issues, Government
The stabilization grant funding can be used to pay for things like facility upgrades and business software, as well as staff pay and mental health support for licensed early learning providers. (Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News)

Indiana is making more than half a billion dollars available to early learning providers across the state, through a grant program that aims to stabilize the industry as some providers struggle to keep their doors open.

The Build Learn Grow Stabilization Grants are designed to help providers navigate a wide range of challenges as the pandemic continues; the money can be used to help pay for things like the rent for their buildings, hiring bonuses or increased pay to recruit more staff, and software to streamline business operations.

In total, the state is using federal COVID-19 relief from the American Rescue Plan Act to make $540 million available through the program.

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In a news release, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration said the grant awards will cover three months of a provider’s operating costs – limited to a maximum of $500,000 per site. Applicants have to be currently open and operating, and had to be licensed at the time the American Rescue Plan was passed in March of this year, to qualify for a grant.

Providers have until Dec. 31 to apply, but FSSA is encouraging providers to apply as soon as possible to gain immediate access to the funding.

Contact reporter Jeanie at jlindsa@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @jeanjeanielindz.