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Today, in partnership with the Saint Louis Mental Health Board, the City of St. Louis will complete disbursement of nearly $2 million to childcare providers to help providers recover from the economic strain of the COVID-19 pandemic. Childcare providers delivering high-quality care in the City of St. Louis applied in August for the one-time grant opportunity to ensure these critical services remain available. Eligible providers could apply for up to $49,500 of funding.

"Working moms and dads rely on quality, affordable childcare in their communities," said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. "Childcare providers suffered during the height of the COVID-19 crisis. This partnership between the Community Development Administration and Saint Louis MHB will support dozens of providers and improve access to the childcare working families need."

Acting through the Community Development Administration, the City of St. Louis entrusted $2 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the Saint Louis MHB to help stabilize the early childhood community. The funding reimburses providers for the gap between the state child care subsidy rate and the cost of licensed care for children under five-years-old to cover the period from January 2021 to December 2021.

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"Data shows that investments into early childhood yield extraordinary returns in the form of improved high school graduation rates, increased employment and wages, reduced crime, and better health outcomes." said Nahuel Fefer, CDA Executive Director. "We are proud to partner with MHB to ensure childcare is available to families who are fighting to recover from the economic hardship caused by the pandemic."

In total 56 providers have been awarded a total of $1,679,272 from ARPA funds. The average reimbursement per provider is $36,000. This disbursement is just the first step the City of St. Louis has taken to support quality childcare with ARPA funds. The recently enacted Working Families bill (BB116) includes a further $2 million in support for early childhood education.

"This funding for childcare providers ensures Missouri's most vulnerable children and families will have access to affordable quality childcare," said Cassandra Kaufman, Executive Director of Saint Louis MHB.

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About Saint Louis Mental Health Board (MHB): MHB is a special taxing district in the City of St. Louis authorized by Missouri state statutes and City voter approvals to administer public funds for behavioral health and children's services that benefit City residents. MHB does not provide direct services itself but makes funding available for direct services operated by not-for-profit organizations. Visit www.stlmhb.com for more information.

About Community Development Administration (CDA): The Community Development Administration (CDA) serves as the City of St. Louis' clearinghouse for federal, state, and local funds. CDA works to implement the Mayor's economic justice agenda by funding a wide range of public and nonprofit entities to provide public services, build affordable housing, combat blight, and conduct various other community development activities.

Filed Under: Government, City

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