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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Valuing and Including FFN Care in Early Childhood Systems

As we collectively see, learn, and support FFN caregivers, we will better value and include these essential caregivers and the children and families they serve in early childhood systems. With new federal investments, now is the time to embark on this journey to make our system more inclusive and equitable.
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Special Series: The PPP Extension and Home-Based Child Care By Gary Romano Civitas Strategies

If you haven’t received a PPP, it is a great time to get in on the program before it ends. The application for a first time PPP is straightforward and forgiveness (the process of removing the debt so you can keep the funds) is easier than ever. The PPP deadline has been extending until May 31, 2021.
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Special Series: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act Leave By Gary Romano Civitas Strategies

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act Leave provides home-based child care providers with the opportunity to receive funds that can support them with expenses needed to run their organizations. There are two programs through which home-based child care providers can provide this leave: the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family & Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA).