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Child Care Stabilization Grant Opportunity Application is Open!

DPHHS Announces $31 Million Now Available to Child Care Providers

The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) announced today that $31 million in federal funding is now available to Montanan child care providers via an online application.

“Access to child care is an essential piece to the state’s workforce and plays a critical role in supporting Montana’s hardworking families, our economy, and our businesses,” said DPHHS Director Adam Meier. “This funding will help address immediate challenges currently facing the child care industry due to COVID-19, and help resolve this longstanding challenge by building up child care capacity going forward.” 

The funding is available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Based on the recommendations from Montana’s ARPA Health Advisory Commission, Governor Greg Gianforte devoted $31 million to increase access to quality child care services for Montana families on June 29, 2021.

Registered and licensed child care providers can apply for the funding online by going to childcare.mt.gov.

Grant funds for child care providers can be used for:

  • Rent, mortgage and utilities
  • Payroll and benefits
  • Health and safety
  • Facility maintenance and minor improvements
  • Personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies
  • Goods to continue child care, such as diapering supplies and other care materials

Mental health support for children and providers can be requested through the grant application process.

To be eligible, child care providers must be licensed or registered with DPHHS at the time they submit an application. Those eligible include child care centers, family and group child care providers.  

As of June 1, 2021 there were a total of 916 licensed or registered providers in Montana. However, since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 171 programs closed across Montana, with 21 of those now reopened. And, the latest data on child care deserts shows a 73 percent supply gap across the state – meaning there is only capacity to serve 27 percent of children under the age of six in licensed or registered child care.

“DPHHS encourages Montana child care providers to apply today,” said Early Childhood and Family Support Division Administrator Jamie Palagi. “And, we urge all those considering becoming licensed or registered to take action today in order to become eligible for this opportunity. We stand ready to help any potential provider who is considering this step. Montana is working hard to increase the number of child care providers in the state, and this is an excellent chance to build capacity.” 

DPHHS has set up a call center at 844-406-2772 to answer questions and provide technical assistance to support providers in completing the applications. 

For more information about the child care stabilization funding and all ARPA funding allocated to DPHHS, go to arpa.mt.gov.