Alabama DHR accepting applications for next round of child care bonuses
Special to the Enquirer
MONTGOMERY – Licensed child care providers have until Dec. 2 to apply for the fifth quarter of Child Care Workforce Stabilization grants from the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR).
The grants pay for quarterly bonuses of $3,000 for full-time employees and $1,500 for part-time staff to help child care providers recruit and retain workers as the industry recovers from the pandemic.
“This investment in child care providers and their dedicated workers is paying dividends for Alabama’s families, workforce and economy,” said Alabama DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner. “Although some challenges remain for the child care industry, I am confident that those obstacles can be overcome through continued collaboration.”
DHR has awarded 5,492 grants to child care providers since the initiative was announced in November 2021. More than 11,400 employees received bonuses for the fourth quarter, an increase of nearly 14% compared to the first quarter.
In July, DHR doubled the original bonus amounts for all remaining quarters to give child care providers an extra edge amid a highly competitive job market and to reward current employees. The two-year grant period is scheduled to end in September 2023.
To qualify, providers must be licensed, operating and in good standing with DHR when they apply. They also must remain in operation for at least one year after receiving a grant.
The grants are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.
Applications, grant schedules and additional eligibility requirements are available at dhr.alabama.gov/child-care.