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Hawaiʻi child care providers can apply for federal pandemic relief

Part-time or half-day preschools pose a challenge for many working parents.
Marko Poplasen
Part-time or half-day preschools pose a challenge for many working parents.

Hawaiʻi child care providers, both large and small, can now apply for federal relief.

The state Department of Human Services will be distributing nearly $80 million in grants from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The grants will help providers — such as A+ programs and home care providers — cover expected and unexpected costs, stabilizing their operation.

Dayna Luka, the acting child care programs administrator at the department, says providers that chose to stay open during the height of the pandemic incurred tremendous costs.

"They experienced prolonged and short-term closures, reduced hours. They adjusted their tuition. They experienced non-enrollment, extra expenses related to sanitation and safety practices. And accommodation for the new staffing protocols that the Department of Human Services had placed on them to minimize the exposure to the virus," Luka said.

Luka says qualified providers can use the funds for staff, supplies, and business services.

She says the grants will improve access to child care services throughout the state.

More information can be found at dhsgrants.hawaii.gov.

Casey Harlow was an HPR reporter and occasionally filled in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
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