West Central Initiative

COVID-19 Impact

The state’s stay-at-home order greatly impacted child-care providers. A large percentage of the providers lost 50% to 70% of the children in their care, along with the income associated with those children. Other providers expanded their hours to accommodate specific employers, such as the local hospital, continuing their child care from early morning until late into the night. Many providers also expanded their care to school-age children, providing space and technology to continue with distance learning. This is all at a time when disinfectant products and toiletries are scarce and food costs are increasing.

Emergency Fund

West Central Initiative leverages partnerships to provide families and communities in west-central Minnesota with the resources they need to thrive. With support from Home Grown, they allocated $1,000 to every 100 family-based providers on a first-come, first-served basis. Most funds were used for cleaning supplies, infrared thermometers, food—and even mortgage payments.

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Special Series: Navigating the Stimulus from Gary Romano of Civitas Strategies

The strain it has put on all of you is only matched by the strain it has put on your businesses, pushing you to the breaking point in many cases. The good news is that much needed help has arrived. A new stimulus bill was signed on December 27th, 2020. There are some familiar programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as well as some old ones that are being implemented in new ways, like the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).
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Pandemic Prompts Oklahoma Policymakers to Expand Access to Child Care

Kith.care, a new online platform opens doors for access to quality child care providers.
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Home-Based Child Care Providers Need Improved Access to Federal Loans Now

Home Grown’s program succeeded in helping some home-based providers access PPP funds, but many were shut out of this public funding in a time of crisis.