Indiana CARES About Child Care

Child Care COVID-19 Expense Reimbursement Fund

Funding is available to support early care and school-age providers that meet the eligibility criteria.

Call (765) 942-1271 for questions about this grant
or email cares@brighterfuturesindiana.org

Do you have questions about your grant application or the Indiana CARES About Child Care grant fund? Join the Child Care Resource & Referral Network during Zoom office hours, Thursdays from 1:30-2:30 EST.

Click here to join your local CCR&R.

The first round of funding announcements will be made on October 27.

Haga click aquí para ver la aplicación en español.
Envíe un correo a cares@brighterfuturesindiana.org para más información.

SAFER CARE FOR ALL HOOSIERS

Indiana’s early care and education providers are the foundation of our state’s economy and thriving communities. They create a two-generational economic ripple effect, allowing families with children to participate in the workforce while also nurturing the next generation of innovators and workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has put many providers in a precarious position, threatening already razor-thin margins with additional health- and safety-related expenses and declining enrollment.

To support our state’s providers and ensure Hoosier families have high-quality child care options, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration – in partnership with Indiana’s Child Care Resource & Referral Network – is launching the Indiana CARES About Child Care relief fund. Supported through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, these grants will help providers with safety-related expenses and emergency operating needs.

GRANT DETAILS

Indiana CARES About Child Care grants are designed to reimburse Indiana child care providers with COVID-19 related needs, such as purchasing health- and safety-related materials and supplies, staffing, cleaning services, additional furniture to support social distancing and other needs as outlined in the Allowable Expenses section below. Grants are also available for emergency expenses deemed necessary to reopen classrooms temporarily shut down due to a positive COVID-19 case.

Grant amounts are up to $12,500 based on a provider’s capacity.

*Providers must provide proof of their licensed capacity or capacity based on local building codes.

Has your program temporarily closed?
Click here to apply for flexible funds that fit your emergency needs.
APPLY

Maximum request:

$3,000

Maximum request:

$7,500

Maximum request:

$12,500

Do you need help paying for safety-related expenses and emergency operating needs due to COVID-19?
Receiving Indiana CARES About Child Care funds is easy. Just follow this process:

ELIGIBILITY

Grants will support early care and school-age providers who meet the following eligibility criteria. Eligible nonprofit and for-profit organizations must:

  • Open and actively serving children ages 0-12. If temporarily closed due to a COVID-19 case, the program must have served children at some point in the last 30 days
  • Be an approved CCDF provider
  • Be a licensed center, family child care home, unlicensed registered ministry or legally licensed-exempt providers (LLEP) that are not schools or Head Start/Early Head Start grantees in the state of Indiana, and are in good standing with licensing

 

Providers who are experiencing a temporary closure due to a positive COVID-19 case and those with needs unmet by previous COVID-19 relief funding opportunities may be given priority in funding decisions.

Do you have questions about your grant application or the Indiana CARES About Child Care grant fund? Contact your local Child Care Resource & Referral agency for assistance. Providers can also call (765) 942-1271 for questions about this grant or email cares@brighterfuturesindiana.org

ALLOWABLE EXPENSES

Allowable expenses to be reimbursed by Indiana CARES About Child Care grants include:

  • Expenses to maintain COVID-19 health and safety guidelines
  • Supplies or services needed to reopen classrooms temporarily shut down due to a positive COVID-19 case

Providers who have closed and need assistance with staffing in order to reopen should click here.

Allowable expenses About Indiana CARES About Child Care grants include:

Equipment, Supplies and Materials

Replenishing previously existing supplies or offsetting new expenses (including personal protective equipment, individual learning supplies, meal preparation and packaging, cleaning supplies, social/emotional learning materials, etc.) that are required to adhere to social distancing and safely serve children and families

Staffing

Paying the hourly wage for substitutes and other staff, related to accommodating limited group sizes or adding extra staff to help with daily COVID-19 health screenings and sanitation practices

Professional Services

Cleaning services following a positive COVID-19 case, new equipment or furniture to adhere to health and safety guidelines, mental health services or other professional services related to COVID-19

Watch this webinar recording to learn more about the Indiana CARES About Child Care fund.

Webinar slides from September 30.

Webinar slides in Spanish.

Do you have questions about your grant application or the Indiana CARES About Child Care grant fund? Join your local Child Care Resource & Referral agency during Zoom office hours, Thursdays from 1:30-2:30.

Click here to join your local CCR&R.

It’s time to get back to work, and it starts with you. Find resources for your facility and the families you serve.

Indiana's "Let's Get Back to Work" campaign offers resources to help your program safety serve and support families in a COVID-19 environment.

GENERAL

The Indiana CARES About Child Care fund provides critical relief funds to programs affected by the pandemic. The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) has provided CARES Act funds to local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies to distribute to eligible providers in their areas. Providers may use these funds to reimburse themselves for equipment and supplies, staffing and professional services needed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are also emergency dollars available to providers who had had to temporarily close so that they can reopen.

Para recibir ayuda en español, envíenos un correo electrónico a cares@brighterfuturesindiana.org y escriba “Ayuda en español” en el tema del correo.

Contact your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency. To locate your agency and its contact information, click here.

If you have temporarily closed due to a positive COVID-19 case, you are eligible to receive funding for the amount needed to safely reopen your program. If you remain open and serving children, your funding is based on your program’s capacity.  

    Maximum request 
Program Capacity     
Less than 20    $3,000  
20-50     $7,500  
More than 50    $12,500  

Child care programs require special consideration. Cots, tabletops and toys are often subject to hands touching that go directly to the mouth. Because of this, these items must be sanitized with a chemical product that is safe for food contact surfaces. General disinfectants are not to be used on these surfaces as they require a potable rinse. For a list of products that the EPA has found to be effective against COVID-19 please visit this link. You can share OECOSL’s guidance listed here under “Maintain Healthy Operations” with your cleaning service.

You should select a mental health professional that is licensed to practice in the state of Indiana. For a comprehensive list of mental health professionals and their certifications, click here.

Once you have been awarded, you may not apply for additional funding until you have been reimbursed. If you have a temporary closure due to COVID-19, you may however apply for additional emergency funding.

No, you may not use this funding to open new locations.

No. However, it can be used for paying substitutes or adding extra staff to help with daily health screenings and sanitation practices.

Examples of these types of materials might be books, puppets, materials to create calming spaces and sensory materials.

You should apply for the OECOSL Child Care Closure Assistance Grant at this link.

Additional cleaning services and materials related to COVID safety measures may be funded by this grant.

If your program or classrooms have been temporarily closed due to a positive COVID case you need to apply for an emergency closure grant. Receipts dated on or after your grant application date will be considered for reimbursement. Some programs requesting emergency funding may be contacted directly by the local CCR&R in reference to the requirements and documentation for their requests.

APPLICATION

Interested and eligible providers should apply online. Click here for the application.  

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. If your program is temporarily closed due to a positive COVID-19 case, submit your application for emergency funds at any time for an expedited review.  

If you are a licensed program, you should report your licensed capacity. If you are exempt from licensing, please report your capacity based on other factors, such as your local fire marshal’s recommendation based on your building size. You may include children of all ages, including school age, as part of your total capacity.  

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Yes, your local Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) agency can answer your questions and help you complete the application. Click here to find your CCR&R’s contact information. Providers can also call (765) 942-1271 for questions about this grant or email cares@brighterfuturesindiana.org

 

To determine the tax implications of receiving this funding, we recommend you consult with a tax professional, who can better advise you on your situation.

ELIGIBILITY

Eligible nonprofit and for-profit organizations must be: 

  • Open and actively serving children ages 0-12. If temporarily closed due to a COVID-19 case, the program must have served children at some point during the previous 30 days
  • An approved CCDF provider 
  • A licensed center, family child care home, unlicensed registered ministry or legally licensed-exempt providers (LLEP) that are not schools or Head Start/Early Head Start grantees in the state of Indiana, and are in good standing with licensing 

Yes, a program needs to be an approved CCDF provider but does not need to be actively serving children who use CCDF vouchers.  

Yes. Programs that have received state grants or other emergency public funding during the COVID-19 pandemic are still eligible to apply. Funding priority may be given to programs that have not accessed other available grant funds.  

If you did not receive a confirmation email within an hour of submitting your application, please check all junk and spam folders. If you do not have an email, please email  cares@brighterfuturesindiana.org.

If your program is temporarily closed and has served children at some point within the past 30 days, you may still apply. The application will ask you to note your planned reopening date.

Yes, you are eligible if your program has a provisional license.

TIMING

Awards will be announced on a rolling basis, every two weeks. If you applied for funds needed to reopen your program after a temporary closure due to a COVID-19 positive case, your application may be reviewed more quickly.  

To receive your funding, you must submit documentation of your expenses to your local child care resource and referral agency. You will be provided with reporting templates to use for this, and your funding will be processed and distributed to you within 30 days of the reimbursement documentation being signed, unless otherwise specified.

No, we can only reimburse expenses incurred after approval of your application.

Brighter Futures Indiana is brought to you through a partnership with The FSSA Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning and Early Learning Indiana.