Author: Mandy Potts, Rising Business Consulting, LLC
Release Date: February 4, 2022
The state of Colorado HB20B-1002 created two grant programs to support child care providers across the state: the Child Care Relief Grant program and the Emerging and Expanding Child Care Grant Program. This legislation provides $45 million in General Funds to support licensed child care in sustaining and expanding their businesses.
Please follow this link for more information on applying for these funds https://www.coloradoofficeofearlychildhood.com/oec/OEC_Resources?p=Resources&s=Child-Care-Relief-Grants&lang=en
Now that your organization has applied for the funding and been given an award amount, it should be asking WHAT can we do with this money? What will make the greatest impact?
The state of Colorado offers some suggestions such as smaller group sizes, purchasing additional safety and cleaning materials, and covering salaries and compensation to staff that provide child care.
These things are great, but there is so much more your organization can do! While keeping compliance in the forefront of any spending plans (always ask is the expenditure reasonable, necessary, and allocable), we need to think strategically about these funds and make sure the funds SUPPLEMENT NOT SUPPLANT (OMB Circular A-133 Compliance).
Here are a few things nuggets to help your organization think bigger:
Everything needs to “tie to COVID”
All spending needs to be in response to the pandemic. Carefully document how each expenditure links to COVID-19.
Yes AND… how does this expenditure achieve the goals of creating a safe and healthy environment for children, families, and staff right now!
We all know that the child care industry is experiencing a massive shortage of qualified staff. While it is tempting to double staff salaries as an immediate fix (we all agree they deserve it), we must layer-in sustainability. Can your organization afford to pay these inflated wages once the stability funding ends in 2023? Most likely not... And furthermore, it is not always about increasing hourly wages that keeps employees coming back. Dig deeper and ask what kind of environment does the organization want to create to entice and excite employees to come to work?
Central Offices improvements:
Upgrade lighting to LED
Upgrade technology to allow work from home flexibility
Upgrade software to allow cloud-based connectivity
Upgrade heating and cooling systems to increase air quality and work place conditions
Provide healthy snacks, lunches and GOOD coffee and creamer
Provide health insurance stipends or coverage to part-time employees
Office renovations to improve productivity, communication, conference rooms, quiet area, sleeping rooms, lactation rooms, conference rooms
Child care operations improvements:
All the listed above AND..
Shade structures for playgrounds
Improved playgrounds for natural play areas
Replacing old playground equipment and fall areas
Repaving parking lots
Addressing deferred maintenance (windows, doors, roof, foundation, electrical panels/ outlets, Wi-Fi connectivity)
Repairing ADA sidewalks and doorways
Adding additional bathrooms, diaper changing areas and lactation rooms
Building storage areas for children and their belongings
The worse thing we can do with this funding is NOT spend it and give the money back!
If your organization needs assistance creating a spending plan for your Colorado COVID dollars, please contact me!
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