The deadline to apply for the first round of child care expansion grants from the Idaho Workforce Development Council is Aug. 1, and council Executive Director Wendi Secrist expects the $15 million in available funding this fiscal year to quickly disappear.
During the 2022 legislative session, the Idaho Legislature approved $15 million from state fiscal recovery funds in the federal American Rescue Plan Act to be used for child care infrastructure grants. The grant funding is intended to be used to shorten waitlists for child care at high-quality facilities, including dollars that can help offset start-up costs for businesses and providers looking to expand. After the August deadline, the program will have two more rounds of funding with deadlines of Oct. 1 and Jan. 1. If the $15 million is not spent by then, the council will open another round.