(HELENA) - Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Director Adam Meier is encouraging child care providers to apply for Child Care Stabilization funds during the final application period July 1 – 31, 2022.

The online application is available at childcare.mt.gov. DPHHS estimates there are about 350 child care providers still eligible to apply for this funding.

“We encourage Montana eligible child care providers, who haven’t done so, to apply for stabilization funds in July,” Meier said. “Since this funding was first offered in 2021, we’re pleased that over 500 providers have taken advantage of this opportunity. And, we know there’s several hundred still eligible to apply.”

The funding is available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. Based on the recommendations from Montana’s ARPA Health Advisory Commission, Governor Greg Gianforte devoted $61 million to increase access to quality child care services for Montana families.

Currently, 58% of that funding has been obligated. To date, DPHHS has awarded stabilization funds to 502 child care providers serving just under 13,000 Montana kids.

Registered and licensed child care providers can apply for the funding online by going to childcare.mt.gov. July applicants must be in good standing with DPHHS Child Care Licensing by September 1, 2022 to be eligible to receive funding.

Grant funds for child care providers can be used for:

  • Rent, mortgage and utilities
  • Payroll and benefits
  • Health and safety
  • Facility maintenance and minor improvements
  • Personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies
  • Goods to continue child care, such as diapering supplies and other care materials

Mental health support for children and providers can be requested through the grant application process.

For more information about the child care stabilization funding and all ARPA funding allocated to DPHHS, call 844-406-2772 or go to arpa.mt.gov