PRESS RELEASE: PAACT Fund for Quality Stabilization Grant Program to Support City of Atlanta Child Care Providers
Promise All Atlanta Children Thrive (PAACT), a citywide alliance convened by GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students, is partnering with Quality Care for Children to support child care providers in the City of Atlanta, with priority given to eligible programs located within the Washington and Douglass APS Clusters, to help them sustain their businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through the PAACT Fund for Quality, grant funding of up to $20,000 will be provided to stabilize and preserve the existing child care market to ensure child care options are available when the crisis has passed.
‘This emergency fund aims to ensure that the City of Atlanta’s early learning sector remains stable to allow our children to have access to high-quality early learning opportunities when we emerge from this public health crisis,” said Brittany Collins, Director of PAACT.
“This is just the start of this collaboration among early learning organizations to improve equity and access to high-quality early childhood education for all of Atlanta’s children,” said Stephanie Blank, Board Chair of GEEARS. “Even when we can safely reopen our economy, families must have access to quality child care in order to return to work. Without these emergency funds, we know that many child care programs are in danger of closing permanently.”
“The needs and challenges facing child care providers are tremendous. Quality Care for Children is so proud to be able to help support them through this difficult time,” said QCC President and CEO Pam Tatum.
The PAACT Fund for Quality is funded through grants from the United Way of Greater Atlanta (UWGA), the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation, and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. The stabilization grant program is administered by Quality Care for Children. PAACT is a citywide alliance convened by GEEARS to improve outcomes for Atlanta’s children ages 0-to-5 years old. PAACT/GEEARS consulted with Reinvestment Fund to develop the program based on their child care COVID-19 response efforts in Philadelphia.
The grant funding is allocated to organizations that provide early learning and care for children from birth to age five, with licensed child care centers and family child care homes eligible for support. Child care organizations that stay open during the pandemic or are temporarily closed, by mandate or choice, are eligible to apply. Applicants must attest that they will pay their staff if they receive funding, including during periods of closure.
The launch of the Fund comes at a critical time for Georgia’s child care providers. A recent survey from GEEARS and Quality Care for Children found that time is fast running out to get providers the support they need to serve families during this time of critical need and into the future. The survey found 63% of Child Care Learning Centers (CCLCs) and 62% of Family Child Care Learning Homes (FCCLHs) report that they were less than a month away from closing for good. Eighty percent of CCLCs and 70% of FCCLHs reported needing temporary funding in the next two weeks to meet operating costs while at reduced revenues due to decreased enrollment.
The Fund will support these child care providers who are struggling to sustain their businesses through closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Providers of these programs can request assistance to sustain basic expenses, support new methods of helping families during the closure period, and support future needs required to reopen.
Quality Care for Children will administer the Fund and will review applications and grant awards on a weekly basis. Grant funding is available for licensed child care centers and family child care homes in the City of Atlanta, whether currently open or temporarily closed. Programs caring for children ages birth to five years of age are eligible to apply. Applicants must:
- Be located in the City of Atlanta
- Be Quality Rated or in process (receiving TA or waiting on an assessment)
- Be current on all local, state, and federal taxes (or on a payment plan)
- Have no substantial licensing infractions
Highest priority will be given to programs that:
- Primarily serve families with low incomes and those with the greatest need
- Operate within the Washington and Douglass APS clusters or other areas with a high population of children under 5 in poverty and known shortage of high-quality child care (prior to the crisis) – (See ATL Access Map for more information.)
- Will be able to continue operations when services can resume
- Are committed to paying staff during the crisis whether open or not, if funded
Institutions interested in giving to the PAACT Fund for Quality Stabilization Grant Program should contact . Stay informed about the PAACT Fund for Quality Stabilization Grant Program and PAACT: Promise All Atlanta Children Thrive.