The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners today approved Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava’s proposal to provide up to $10 million in economic relief for child and adult daycare centers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commissioner Levine Cava called on the County to develop and implement a grant program for child and adult daycare centers in the Unincorporated Municipal Service Area (UMSA) that have been hit hard by the pandemic. The program will be funded using $5 million in dedicated CARES Act funds, and potentially up to $5 million more in any previously unspent CARES Act funds.
“COVID-19 nearly destroyed our daycare industries,” said Commissioner Levine Cava. “While our families are getting back to work, we must provide financial relief for our child and adult daycare centers that we rely on to take care of our precious children and vulnerable older adults.”
The County will explore a partnership with the Early Learning Coalition and the Alliance for Aging for disseminating the relief funds to daycare centers. The program will be open to private, for-profit and nonprofit daycare businesses, as well as Head Start centers.
“These funds will provide a much-needed lifeline for childcare programs that are struggling financially due to low attendance,” said Early Learning Coalition CEO Evelio Torres. “I am grateful to Commissioner Levine Cava for sponsoring an item that supports the education of our county’s youngest learners, with the added benefit of helping families rejoin the workforce as our economy reopens.”
“Older adults have been isolated without access to the adult daycare facilities that were key to their socialization activities,” said Alliance for Aging President & CEO Max B. Rothman. “These funds will go a long way towards assuring that centers can safely open with all of the required precautionary measures in place, as mandated by the County, and provide essential services to older adults once again.”
Over 1000 daycare centers in the County were shuttered by the Mayor’s executive orders on March 31, 2020. While many were able to open with partial occupancy, others are still closed. There are more than 150 adult daycare centers in the County that cater to older adults living with Alzheimer’s disease and other intense care needs.
In a recent national survey conducted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, only 18% of the over 5,000 childcare providers that responded expected their childcare programs to survive beyond June of 2021.