More than 400 providers and their employees in the child care industry may find some financial relief headed their way.
If deemed qualified under the workforce retention grant program, they stand to receive between $1,000 and $5,000 as part of an incentive to stay in the industry.
“Eligible child care workers must operate or work for an active, licensed child care facility in accordance with Guam Public Law 31-73: the Rules and Regulations for Child Care Facilities. The licensed facility must also be a registered Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) provider on a continuous basis – that is currently open, serving children and located in Guam,” the office of Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero stated in a press release.
The grant is part of a push by the governor to improve industry retention and provide stability and support for the child care services, which Leon Guerrero and her administration have been pushing to expand, bolstered by federal money, her office said in the release.
Agencies have rolled out several different programs under an umbrella called Prugråman Pinilan. Some of the services provided grant money to parents and child care centers, while others supported after-school programs and allowed relatives of children to receive grant funds for taking care of the children when their parents are working.
The governor’s office said in the release that, since April 2022, “Prugråman Pinilan has made comprehensive and historic investments in the child care industry by empowering more Guam families with resources and financial support.”
Despite the assistance provided, the governor admitted challenges persist.
“Guam’s regulated child care employers continue to experience unprecedented staffing challenges. This retention program directs dedicated child care funding toward caregivers, directors and staff in the child care industry to remain open and support ongoing employment in this critical workforce,” the governor said.
Although there is an application process, the grant isn’t competitive.
Instead, “every eligible child care employee that submits a complete application will receive a grant award. Our comprehensive approach, through Prugråman Pinilan, stabilizes and strengthens the child care industry while investing in our future and uplifting all Guam’s families,” Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio said.
Eligible positions within a CCDF child care facility include caregiver, director, assistant director, teacher, teacher’s aide, assistant, associate, aide or floater, kitchen staff or helper and facility runner.
Based on dates of employment eligible workers will receive a lump-sum grant as follows:
- March 1, 2020, to present day: $5,000.
- March 1, 2021, to present day: $2,500.
- March 1, 2022, to present day: $1,000.
The deadline to apply for the grant is Feb. 17. Awards are subject to availability of funds.
The retention grant program is funded through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act in response to the urgent need to stabilize the child care sector according to the release.