Emily Rice Published

Child Care Centers To Receive Final Pandemic-Era Payment

A child with pigtails and a pink backpack is seen walking down a road.Heleen Zeegers/Getty Images

Starting Sept. 30, states will lose access to federal pandemic-related stabilization money aimed at bolstering child care services in the U.S. but Gov. Jim Justice said Friday that there is enough leftover pandemic-related stabilization money to distribute a final payment for October.

In 2021, $40 billion in funding went to child care centers across the nation from the American Rescue Plan Act

With this funding set to expire, a bill in Congress to extend child care funding has gone nowhere.

According to the Administration for Children and Families, in West Virginia, 645 child care centers and 925 child care family homes received stabilization payments totaling more than $160 million.

The child care centers used the funds to pay for personnel costs and keep programs staffed. In some cases, child care centers used the funds to keep prices lower for parents struggling to pay for child care that now costs an average of $15,000 a year for one child, according to a Care.com study.

Child care family homes used the money to pay for personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure safe environments for children and staff.

“It will be slightly lower than the normal monthly payment,” Justice said. “However, again, you got to realize this is just an extra payment that nobody really expected.”

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting with support from Charleston Area Medical Center and Marshall Health.