Alaska is getting $7 million in child care funding from the federal government, while Congress entertains expanding access to child care because of the pandemic outbreak.
Almost $2 million is being directed to Metlakatla Indian Community and the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, according to a press release from Congressman Don Young’s office.
Metlakatla’s portion is $966,754. Exactly $1,019,896 is scheduled for the Tlingit and Haida tribes.
The funds are being made available through the Early Head Start — Child Care Partnership Grant Program.
The grant money comes as parents try to figure out how to juggle work with child care, a greater challenge since the novel coronavirus.
Congress also has the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 on its schedule of legislation to be considered.
The bill is designed to expand access to child care services as parents rejoin the workforce after COVID-related furloughs and job losses.
The program traditionally has provided funds for before and after school programs for children between the ages of 6 and 14. With the changes to a variety of school options — remote, hybrid and in-person — the program will include funding for programs during school hours.
It’s an effort to keep children safe, parents employed and the economy regaining its strength of early this year.
That’s a win-win-win.