Some child care workers are getting a big bonus.
The Alabama Department of Human Resources has doubled the amount in quarterly bonuses that child care workers can receive. Now, the state will pay full-time workers $3,000 bonuses and $1,500 to part-time child care workers.
“Anything we can do to entice other teachers to get on board or help compensate those who stuck it out for our kids, I’m all for it,” said Haylee Wooden, a parent.
For some families, this comes as a relief. Many parents who are employed full-time rely on child care to care for their kids while they’re at work.
“I think child care is something people took for granted until it wasn’t readily available,” Wooden said.
Courtney Hammonds works at Apple Tree Child Development Center. She said the center immediately took advantage of the program.
Now, workers at Apple Tree will get an even larger bonus every three months.
It’s a relief for teachers like Hammonds, who love their job in education.
“It’s an industry where the heart definitely comes first,” said Hammonds. “You love these kids, you get to help these kids and nurture them, you help them grow.”
The majority of teachers at Apple Tree returned to the classroom in 2022. The center is still looking to hire more, so they can care for more kids.
Call Apple Tree CDC at 256-776-9957 to apply.
To apply for the bonus, child care centers need to be in good standing with DHR and be up and running for at least one year. So far, the Alabama DHR has shelled out more than 4,000 grants.
The program will end in September 2023. There are five more opportunities for child care providers to apply.