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Rep. Troy announces additional funding to support child care centers

News-Herald - 11/28/2023

Nov. 28—State Rep. Dan Troy, D-Willowick, has announced that applications are now being accepted for the fourth round of child care stabilization grants.

The $200 million discretionary funding — from the federal American Rescue Plan Act — can be used for workforce recruitment and retention, expanding access, operating costs, or mental health and well-being of students and employees.

"I am pleased to announce this additional funding for child care centers," Troy said. "Too many of our working parents are unable to participate in the labor market because there is a lack of affordable, quality child care."

In House Finance Committee hearings, Troy stated there needs to be more child care availability, especially to help single, working mothers stay in or re-enter the workforce.

He additionally detailed, during the operating budget process, that the grants would help mitigate workplace shortages in numerous areas, principally in areas like home health care and other programs that are "sorely in need" of direct service providers.

"This available grant money is a win for families and a win for businesses that desperately need more workers," he added. "Quality child care programs have proven to place our young children on a path towards positive learning outcomes."

Additionally, Troy announced that base rates for publicly-funded child care will increase beginning Feb. 4.

The base reimbursement rate for publicly-funded child care will increase to the 35th percentile of the 2022 market rate survey as part of an effort for reimbursement rates to increase to the 50th percentile by December 2024.

Ohio Department of Children and Youth Director Kara Wente noted that child care employers continue to balance employee shortages and increasing costs.

"Increasing the base rate will help more than 5,000 programs across the state," she said. "This sustained increase in reimbursements and another round of one-time grant money will help struggling providers support children and their families."

Applications for the child care stabilization grants can be found at occrra.org/.

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