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A new grant program has been set up to provide more licensed child care providers.
The Child Care Desert Startup Grants for individuals who are considering becoming licensed child care providers in identified desert counties, which are those counties that don’t have enough licensed child care providers to meet the needs of working families. Okmulgee, Creek and Okfuskee counties are among the 34 Oklahoma counties considered to be child care deserts.
According to State Senator Roger Thompson, applications for the Child Care Desert Startup Grants will be available until budgeted funds are depleted or until July 31, 2023. Providers are required to complete an application and provide a Federal Tax Identification/Employer Identification Number. Applicants may receive a total of $10,000 per child served, based on licensed capacity. An initial $5,000 per child payment will be made at the time of approval, with the remaining $5,000 per child distributed based on enrollment after 12 months.
“I see this new grant program as a huge win-win for our local communities,” Thompson said. “This will help families struggling to find safe, quality child care for their children so they can work or return to school, and it will also create jobs within those communities by providing individuals with the funding and startup capital needed to open new child care businesses.”
He said anyone wishing to learn more or make an application for a Child Care Desert Startup Grant, can visit https://okchildcaregrants.com.