Qualified child care centers and providers have until Dec. 3 to submit Adahi I FamaGU’on Child Care Program Stabilization 2021 applications.

According to a press release from Adelup, the Guam Economic Development Authority board of directors during its Thursday meeting endorsed the program's grant manual, eligibility and other items.

Department of Public Health and Social Services Director Art San Agustin said the program provides as much as $400,000 in “crucial relief” to child care centers.

Child care organizations and programs can download the program manual at investguam.com/caps2021. Applications may be submitted via email to caps2021@investguam.com by 5 p.m. Dec. 3.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed Guam’s child care industry in a precarious situation. Restrictions on occupancy levels and fear of children’s welfare have led to low attendance. Public health regulations and requirements have increased operational costs, child care center managers have said.

According to GEDA, the current occupancy and attendance levels is 20% to 50%, making it harder for centers to stay open.

“These child care centers/providers play a critical role in providing child care for Guam families, so that parents of these children using these child care services, are able to work, go to school, and be contributing members of the community,” the GEDA website states.

The American Rescue Plan Act appropriates $20 million to direct aid, according to GEDA. The ARP child care stabilization program requires that the stabilization program funds be issued to qualified and eligible child care providers to cover operational expenses as a way to stabilize the fragile child care industry and the many small businesses.

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