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Early Childhood Education

Los Angeles County Child Care Providers Can Apply For $20 Million In Grants

Three children with medium dark skin tone stand in front of a play kitchen in a sunny backyard with a blue and green mural in the background.
Owners of family child care homes, like this one in Hawthorne, can apply for $15,000 to $30,000 grants.
(Mariana Dale
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Los Angeles County is distributing $20 million of federal coronavirus relief funding to child care providers. The program is open to all licensed child care facilities in L.A. County except those in the city of L.A. The county expects to distribute more then 500 grants ranging from $15,000 payments for small family child care homes to $80,000 for large child care centers.

How is the money distributed? The grant application process is open now. Money will be distributed to applicants in ZIP codes considered “highest need” based on the county’s COVID-19 Vulnerability and Recovery Index. The funds will be distributed on a rolling basis until Feb.14. The index factors in poverty, unemployment, and overcrowded housing, among other criteria. “While everyone was impacted, to some degree, there certainly were some of our communities that were most negatively impacted,” said County Development Authority Consultant Sharon Murphy. “Now at this stage in the pandemic [those communities] require more funding to be able to recover from the pandemic.”

So who can get the money? Compton, Huntington Park, Pomona, Hawaiian Gardens and El Monte are among the communities considered “highest need." Look up your address to see its need ranking online. After Feb. 14, any remaining funds will be distributed to applicants in the lower need tiers until it’s gone. Providers who got money through other county-funded ARPA grants are not eligible for this program.

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Why now: Hundreds of Southern California child care providers closed during the pandemic. “We know that having accessible childcare is essential to L.A. County getting back to work,” Murphy said. “Providing grants this time will help enable facilities to perhaps reopen or if they have been open, to recover, and to use these funds to help fully staff up and to be serving more children.”

The backstory: The child care grant program’s funding comes from the county’s estimated $1.9 billion allocation through the American Rescue Plan Act. L.A. County previously distributed about $9.75 million to 462 child care providers with money from the CARES Act.