Child Care Stabilization Grants
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Child Development and Early Education administers the North Carolina Child Care Stabilization Grants. Applications are still being accepted. Eligible early care and learning programs may apply at any time.
Be ready to apply, you’ll need:
Apply now or manage your application Go to Stabilization Grant Application Portal
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Many questions are answered in the Frequently Asked Questions document. Assistance is available Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM-4:30 PM. Ask questions using the Stabilization Grant Customer Support Form or call Stabilization Grants Customer Service Team at (919) 814-6300, Option 2.
CHILD CARE STABILIZATION GRANT DATA
NCDHHS Division of Child Development and Early Education has created two data dashboards to provide Child Care Stabilization Grants summary data. The first dashboard gives insight into the impact of this historic investment, showing the total child care capacity and jobs that are supported by the grants both as a statewide to-date total and by county in an interactive map. The second dashboard illustrates the strength of NCDHHS’s commitment to the state’s early care and learning network by showing the total stabilization grant dollars paid to-date to child care programs statewide, and a pie chart of grantees by program type. This dashboard also features an interactive map of stabilization grant payment totals by county with several display options: All Payments, Fixed Cost Payments, Compensation Support Payments, [Child Care] Center Payments, [Family Child Care] Home Payments.
NCDHHS to Extend Grant Program Supporting Early Care and Learning Teacher Pay
Grant support to boost compensation for North Carolina’s early care and learning teachers and staff will continue through December 2023, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced this week. With the funding of the Child Care Stabilization Grants running out and child care programs still struggling, DCDEE will use about $150 million in discretionary ARPA funding allocated for workforce initiatives to continue one component of the grants – compensation supports, which have helped to boost teacher pay and benefits.
Quarterly Update and Recertification Application available September 19
Two tasks will need to be completed to receive the October 2022 grant payment. All child care programs receiving Child Care Stabilization Grants must complete both the Quarterly Update and a new Recertification Application. To allow plenty of time for these tasks, the Quarterly Update and the Recertification Application will be available September 19, 2022 at 8:30 AM. Submit a Quarterly Update and an approved Recertification Application no later than 5:00 PM on October 7, 2022 to receive the full 3-month October grant payment.
October’s Fixed Cost and Families Grant will equal about 1/3 of April Fixed Cost and Families grant
The grant payment estimator (.xlsx) has been updated to help you calculate an estimate of your new grant payment amounts. Grant payments for newly approved initial applications will be issued using the new reduced formula.
While there is no change in the formulas for Compensation Support Grants, it's important to remember that the formula for Compensation Support Option 2: Increase Base Pay/Benefits includes a quality enhancement bonus for 3-, 4-, and 5-star rated child care programs equal to 10% of the Fixed Costs and Families Grant amount. As the Fixed Costs grant decreases, the bonus amount also decreases. The change in the Fixed Costs and Families Grant does not affect the payment amount for Compensation Support Option 1: Bonuses.
ABOUT CHILD CARE STABILIZATION GRANTS
On October 7, 2021, Governor Roy Cooper announced a historic, one-time federal $805 million investment in North Carolina’s early care and learning programs. The North Carolina Child Care Stabilization Grants, made possible by funding from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act, support working families with access to high-quality, affordable child care. The grants also help early care and learning programs with recruitment and retention, enabling them to provide better wages and benefits to teachers, and promoting equity for all—children, parents, and teachers.
There are two components of North Carolina’s Child Care Stabilization Grants. The two components are intended to grant early care and learning programs funds to facilitate high quality early childhood education at its true cost and increase compensation to staff. Each approved program receives a Fixed Costs and Families Grant, based on capacity, subsidized child care enrollment, program quality (star rating), infant/toddler enrollment, and community context (using Social Vulnerability Index).
Approved programs that elect to receive additional funding will also be awarded Compensation Supports Grants. There are two options for Compensation Supports. Programs selecting Option 1 agree to use the additional funding to provide bonuses to all staff. By selecting Option 2, approved early childhood programs agree to increase base pay and/or benefits, implementing a compensation scale that ideally factors in education and length of service as well as job responsibilities.
Licensed Child Care Programs that are eligible for Stabilization Grant funding must:
- Hold a license or be regulated under a notice of compliance by DCDEE on or before March 11, 2021, or
- Hold a current license or a notice of compliance and be eligible to participate in the Subsidized Child Care Assistance Program.
Allowable Uses for Grant Funds
Funds received for Compensation Supports must be spent on personnel costs as described when awarded.
Fixed Cost and Families Grant funds can be used for:
- Tuition Assistance to Families
- Personnel costs, including payroll, salaries, similar employee compensation, employee benefits, retirement costs, educational costs, child care costs; and supporting staff expenses in accessing COVID-19 vaccines;
- Rent (including under a lease agreement) or payment on any mortgage obligation, utilities, or insurance; also, may include late fees or charges related to late payments;
- Facility maintenance or improvements, defined as minor renovations, including outdoor learning spaces/playgrounds, and minor improvements to address COVID-19 concerns;
- Personal protective equipment, cleaning and sanitization supplies and services, or training and professional development related to health and safety practices;
- Purchases of or updates to equipment and supplies to respond to COVID–19;
- Goods and services necessary to maintain or resume child care services;
- Mental health supports for children and employees;
- Health and safety trainings for staff, including but not limited to CPR, First Aid, and medication administration.
DCDEE monitors the stabilization grants program to ensure child care program grantees use funds for allowed uses only and in compliance with the Terms and Conditions. If an audit finds no problems, the child care program will receive a letter notifying them of the audit result. If an audit reveals any issues, the auditor will contact the child care program with any questions or to request documentation. Grantees must cooperate and respond to any instructions from DCDEE auditors.
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WATCH: Stabilization Grants Training 1 - NC Stabilization Grant Application
Get the slide deck from NC Stabilization Grant Application 2021-2022 (PDF)
WATCH: Stabilization Grants Training 2 - Using Your NC Stabilization Grant
Get the slide deck from Using Your NC Stabilization Grant (PDF)
WATCH: Stabilization Grants Training 3 – Introduction to Quarterly Reporting
Get the slide deck from Introduction to Quarterly Reporting (PDF)
WATCH: Stabilization Grants Training 4 – Recertification Information Session
Get the slide deck from Recertification Information Session