Nonprofit launches fund to help child care providers

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Programs for Parents announced the launch of a $112,000 Home Grown Home-Based Child Care Emergency Fund, an application-based relief program to award grants to 180 registered family child care providers and 120 family, friend and neighbor providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in Essex County, according to a July 17 press release. Programs for Parents is a nonprofit organization that supports children, families and child care providers through advocacy and action by offering education and referrals, sharing best practices, and providing access to available financial resources. 

Through the course of the pandemic, home-based providers have risked their own health and safety to care for the children of essential employees and families returning to work. To ensure families in Essex County continue to have access to the safe, affordable and quality home-based child care they need, Programs for Parents’ Emergency Fund will address the immediate needs of providers, ensuring they can adequately reopen or continue to provide services to families. Ultimately, the fund will help to maintain the supply of home-based child care, ensure access to child care for essential workers, and stabilize the economic status of home-based caregivers and providers in Essex County. 

“Our emergency fund grants will assist home-based providers with purchasing personal protective equipment and supplies, and materials to reopen homes for child care,” Programs for Parents CEO Beverly Lynn said. “Those materials will support physical distancing, individual programming, increase cleaning and hygiene, and align with CDC recommendations. Funds will also be used to reimburse providers for purchases already made and for losses associated with COVID-19.”

Programs for Parents will accept applications for the first round of grants July 24 and will then review, award and disseminate grants to providers by July 30. 

The Schumann Fund For New Jersey, Turrell Fund, Home Grown, The Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation, and The Nicholson Foundation contributed to the fund, with Maher Charitable Foundation giving in-kind funds. 

“The pandemic has hit caregivers in Essex County hard. Providers were already underpaid and under-resourced and now are experiencing declines in enrollment, difficulty in obtaining affordable cleaning supplies and personal protection equipment, and uncertainty that they will be able to keep their doors open,” said Annette Strickland, executive director at Schumann Fund. “We must act now to provide these vital workers with support.” 

For more information, visit www.programsforparents.org.

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