JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Leaders with the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) through the Division of Early Childhood Care and Development (DECCD) announced childcare centers can receive pandemic relief through Childcare Strong. The program includes the issuance of more than $319 million in Stabilization Grants to childcare providers.

Officials said childcare providers across the state are encouraged to apply for the payments beginning December 1, 2021. The application portal opens on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at Child Care Strong – Mississippi Department of Human Service (ms.gov).

Child Care Strong originates out of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP Act), which includes childcare stabilization grants to be allocated based on the current Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) formula.

To be eligible to receive Child Care Strong Stabilization Grant funding:

  • Providers must be licensed or registered and meet federal criteria.
  • Providers must be in good financial standing with DECCD and Federal accountability reports related to CARES Act and CRRSA funding.
  • Licensed providers and Non-relative In-home providers DO NOT have to be participating in the Child Care Payment Program (CCPP) to be eligible for this funding.    
  • Some conditions will prevent providers from being awarded funding:
    • Any provider who has been found to have committed fraud/intentional program violation in the Child Care Payment Program within the past year is disqualified.
    • Any provider under revocation or suspension of their license or registration status with the MS Department of Health, Division of Child Care Licensure, or CCPP is disqualified.
    • Early Head Start or Head Start programs/grantees are not qualified.
    • Any program currently receiving state or local funding to cover operating expenses is not qualified, for example, Head Start programs, public Pre-K, etc.  

If a single owner has multiple sites, they should apply for funding separately for each license/registration number.   

All providers will be required to complete and submit an application for funding and monthly reports detailing how funding was spent. Providers who do not participate in the Child Care Payment Program will also have to register with MDHS for the agency to release funding and issue the appropriate tax documents.