Governor Northam announces $65.8 million funding increase to child care access amid pandemic


The new funding will continue the child care provider incentive grant program established in April.

Gov. Ralph Northam (File photo/AP)

The new funding will continue the child care provider incentive grant program established in April.

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – On Wednesday, Governor Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam announced $65.8 million in new funding will go towards increasing access to child care and support child care providers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The investment is supported by $58.3 million in Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars as well as a reallocation of $7.5 million in Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funding through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

RELATED: With wait lists for emergency child care, Virginia lawmakers could increase funding

“Early childhood educators have been on the frontlines since COVID-19 pandemic started, going above and beyond to keep their doors open, ensure children are safe, and even fill in the gaps with remote learning as schools have reopened. This new funding will help them continue to support working families and enable more programs to safely provide in-person child care, said Governor Northam.”

This funding will continue the incentive grant program for child care providers announced in April through the end of 2020.

This program is set to provide flexible cash assistance to child care providers to help offset operating costs and expenses associated with meeting health and safety guidelines.

The Virginia Department of Social Services, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Education, has distributed more than $46 million in direct assistance to child care programs to date.

“After listening to providers across the Commonwealth, it was clear that continuing this incentive grant program had to be our top priority. I am thrilled we were able to get it done, and I look forward to continuing to support early childhood education during this difficult time,” said First Lady Northam.

In Virginia, nearly 2,672 child care programs closed their doors at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic

The Governor said thanks to more than $70 million in grants and other relief, many either have reopened or are starting to.

Providers have reported that the funding is critical and many indicated that without additional financial support, they were unsure how long they could continue to operate.

The distribution of the funds will be announced by the Virginia Department of Social Services in the coming weeks.

Any parents or guardians who are in need of child care services should visit Child Care Aware at or call 1-866-KIDS-TLC for an up-to-date list of child care options in their area.

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