By: PAACT for Saporta Report
In July 2021 GEEARS commissioned a statewide survey of 400 Georgia parents with children ages 0-4 that focused on a range of topics including child care arrangements and satisfaction levels, general attitudes toward, perceptions of, and preferences for child care, and financial and employment impacts in relation to child care during these unprecedented times.
Greater than six in ten (62%) said in light of the coronavirus pandemic, they are more likely to consider smaller, home-based care compared to larger group settings. Home-based care includes family/friend/neighbor care and family child care homes. With families preferring to keep their children in smaller settings, our citywide alliance of public and private partners saw an opportunity to step in and support Atlanta’s licensed homed-based child care providers.
PAACT: Promise All Atlanta Children Thrive, a citywide alliance convened by GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students, in partnership with the Low-Income Investment Fund (LIIF), launched a new grant program exclusively for family child care learning home programs located in the City of Atlanta. PAACT and LIIF provided grants to family child care learning homes to help sustain operations as they continue to navigate the impacts of COVID-19 on their child care businesses.
Twenty family child care homes received funding awards ranging from $7,000 to $18,500 to cover operation costs such as payroll, rent, utilities, and insurance. Grant recipients may also use the funding to purchase program materials, furniture, or supplies needed to meet the demands of operating during COVID-19 and beyond. All eligible child care programs that submitted a complete application and met the criteria were awarded a grant.
“The launch of this fund allowed PAACT to support the City of Atlanta’s small network of family child care homes, so they have the financial resources to weather the crisis and continue providing quality care to families with young children,” said Brittany Collins, Director of PAACT.
“Family child care learning homes are a critical part of the child care system in Georgia, and these investments help to ensure that families in Atlanta can continue to rely on them to provide high quality, equitable and responsive care for their children,” said Mindy Binderman, Executive Director of GEEARS.
“Throughout Georgia, family child care providers are struggling to recover from the loss of income due to COVID -19. The help PAACT and LIIF are providing Atlanta providers is critically important,” said Joe Perreault, Public Policy Chair, Professional Family Child Care Alliance of Georgia (PFCCAG).”
The grant program is funded through a national grant from Well Fargo Foundation and administered by LIIF.
“These grants will provide crucial financial support for family child care learning home programs struggling to provide quality child care amidst the pandemic,” said Angie Garling, Vice President of Early Care and Education Programs at LIIF. “The early care and education sector, made up primarily of women of color, has been hard hit by the pandemic and recession. These small businesses need financial support in order to survive and for the local economy to recover.”
Family child care home operator, Jane Benson said, “This grant opportunity afforded me the opportunity to not only remain open but also to maintain my affordable rates as well as hire a new staff person to support the program. I am thrilled to have the additional support at the program but also to be able to provide employment opportunity to a member of my community. In addition, I am also now able to provide a scholarship to an existing client, a single mom who no longer was able to afford childcare. I want to express my gratitude for being selected as a recipient of this grant.”
PAACT and LIIF are proud to support family child care home providers who care for over 180 children from age birth to five in the City of Atlanta.
LIIF administered the funding, reviewed applications, and deployed grant awards. Grant funding was only available for licensed family child care learning homes located in the City of Atlanta, caring for children ages birth to five. All grantees were:
- Located in the City of Atlanta
- Licensed by August 9, 2021, and have no substantial licensing infractions
Higher funding tiers were given to programs that:
- Primarily serve families with low incomes and those with the greatest need
- Are Quality Rated or in process (receiving TA or waiting on an assessment)
- Accept CAPS subsidies
- Participate in the PAACT Fund for Quality Facility Improvement Program
- 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.