Child care grants for OT County providers
News | Published on March 7, 2023 at 3:40pm GMT+0000 | Author: Tucker Henderson0
Grants to aid existing providers, increase child care availability
Child care providers in Otter Tail County can apply to the second round of the Child Care Capacity Grant Program. The program, launched in September 2022, is intended to support child care program needs for existing providers and increase child care slots for new or expanding providers in Otter Tail County.
The second round of the program is possible thanks to a Child Care Economic Development Grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) awarded to the County.
Otter Tail County representatives have stated that access to quality and affordable child care is needed for people to live and work in the region. In addition to keeping children safe and providing quality early childhood experiences, child care is a workforce need. According to a 2022 report from First Children’s Finance, there is a shortage of 1,035 child care slots in Otter Tail County. The Child Care Capacity Grant Program will help address this need by providing financial support to new providers who will add child care slots and existing providers who will retain the current supply of child care slots.
General program guidelines:
• Eligibility: Child care centers, family providers, and multiple-provider pod models are eligible to apply for the Child Care Capacity Grant Program if they are located in Otter Tail County, provide full-time child care, and have a current active license in good standing or be in the process of completing licensure. Priority will be given to first time applicants to Otter Tail County’s grant program. Visit www.ottertailcountymn.us/childcare-grant for the complete eligibility list.
• Use of funds: Grant funds can be used to reimburse costs associated with equipment purchases, program needs, and facility improvements required by licensing and/or fire safety requirements.
• Application process: Access full program guidelines and the application form at ottertailcountymn.us/childcare-grant. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis subject to the availability of funds.
“The county awarded more than $21,000 to child care providers in the first round of the grant program. We’re continuing the program because we know providers need support to do what they do and offer this critical service for families in our communities,” said Otter Tail County Commissioner Dan Bucholz.
More information about the Child Care Capacity Grant Program and other child care efforts can be found at www.ottertailcountymn.us/childcare.