(photo by Peter Christian)
The State of Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) announced on Thursday that $31 million in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds will be sent out to help child care providers throughout the state.
Jamie Palagi, Administrator of the Early Childhood and Family Support division has details about the funding.
“Today, the Department announced that $31 million is available to support licensed and registered childcare providers,” said Palagi. “We’ve opened up an application so that childcare providers can apply for that funding to help offset and cover their ongoing operating costs. So basically what it costs to do business and provide childcare to all the children and families across the state.”
Palagi described the damage that COVID 19 has had on childcare providers throughout the state.
“In general, we have just under 1,000 providers, licensed and registered childcare providers in Montana,” she said. “During the pandemic at the top, we lost about 171 programs and since then, and these were June statistics we had about 21 of them reopen.”
Palagi described how the funding became available to local childcare providers.
“Montana had established a Health Advisory Commission which included legislators and members from Governor Gianforte’s staff to look at recommendations