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  • WBDC Partners with Office of Early Childhood & Governor’s Workforce Council to Offer Emergency Grants to Child Care Providers

    October 14, 2020, Connecticut — Recognizing the devastating impact the pandemic has had on child care businesses, the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC), in partnership with the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) and the Connecticut Governor’s Workforce Council (GWC), is pleased to offer emergency relief grants to qualified child care providers in Connecticut. OEC received support for this program from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.

    OEC licensed child care providers committed to remaining in business and demonstrating financial need will be eligible to receive grants for between $1,500 and $20,000. Between October and December, $875,000 will be distributed in emergency relief funds to these businesses, helping them to remain open.

    “Governor Lamont knows how critical child care is for Connecticut’s recovery, and that child care programs are under tremendous strain during COVID-19,” said OEC Commissioner Beth Bye. “These funds will help support programs and our state’s child care infrastructure.”

    Through grants, business counseling, business training, and access to resources, WBDC is helping businesses get back on their feet and move forward. As such, grantees will be supported by a 12-month WBDC business support program, consisting of a business health assessment, individualized action plan, training and counseling to support business operations, access to resources, and regular check-ins with a Case Manager/Business Advisor.

    “WBDC is committed to supporting the short- and long-term business health of child care providers, helping them to maintain their operations during the pandemic and beyond,” said Fran Pastore, CEO of WBDC, whose mission is to support economic prosperity for women through entrepreneurial and financial education services across Connecticut. “Supporting our child care system achieves not only positive health outcomes for families, but also benefits our state’s economy as a whole.”

    This grant program represents just one way WBDC has proffered support to Connecticut’s child care providers. In July, WBDC established a new child care unit to work closely with the OEC to assess and coordinate many opportunities across OEC partners and services to ensure child care providers are prepared to open and maintain businesses, have access to well-designed and sequenced business training, and are ready to successfully apply for funding and quality improvement opportunities.

    Child care providers eligible to receive emergency relief grants include licensed centers, group and family child care homes (license-exempt providers and licensed youth camps are not eligible). To apply, child care providers need to document the business expenses that will be covered by grant funds — such as rent/mortgage, payroll, utilities, insurance, personal protective equipment (PPE), nurse consultant visits, medical consultation, NAEYC/NAFCC accreditation, and required COVID-19 infrastructure. Qualified applicants will be required to complete an application package and comply with all requests for information from WBDC to be eligible to receive a grant.

    WBDC will conduct 2 information sessions to educate child care providers about the program. These information sessions will also be recorded for later viewing.

    • Thursday, October 15 from 5:30-6:30pm – Register here
    • Tuesday, October 20 from 6:00-7:00pm (in English & Spanish) – Register here

    Additionally, WBDC will conduct training sessions to help business owners create their financial statements, required as part of their application package. These will be recorded for later viewing.

    • Thursday, October 22 from 6:00-7:00pm (in English & Spanish) – Register here
    • Thursday, October 29 from 9:30-10:30am (in English & Spanish) – Register here

    The application deadline for emergency relief grants is December 10, 2020, or until the program’s funds are exhausted. To learn more about this grant program and receive a grant application, visit https://ctwbdc.org/childcare-emergency-grant.

    About the Women’s Business Development Council

    The Women’s Business Development Council’s (WBDC) mission is to support economic prosperity for women and strengthen communities through entrepreneurial and financial education services that create and grow sustainable jobs and businesses across Connecticut. WBDC educates, motivates and empowers women to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency. Whether a client is starting or growing a business, WBDC drives business success in a tangible and accessible way by engaging clients with access to education, markets, and capital. Now in its third decade, WBDC has educated and assisted more than 14,000 clients to launch and scale over 5,900 businesses. In their pursuit of economic independence, these women have created and maintained over 8,100 jobs in Connecticut. Visit ctwbdc.org for more information.

    About the OEC                                                                                                                          

    The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) advances a two-generation family-centered approach in our pursuit of optimal health, safety and learning outcomes for young children. Through our core programs, we support infant and toddler care, preschool, after-school care, child care and youth camp licensing, home visiting, and early intervention to address developmental delays. The OEC is working toward better coordinated, cost-effective services that support Connecticut’s youngest children and families.

    The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), from the Workforce Training Innovation Fund (WTIF) which was established under the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), is offering the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) a grant in an amount not to exceed $5,298,180.00.  The Workforce Training Innovation Fund (WTIF) will support partnerships that provide market relevant training through short programs for displaced workers seeking to upskill or change careers and opportunity youth, all of whom have been adversely affected by the economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.