Delaware Announces Significant New ARPA Funding for Childcare Providers

Nov. 16, 2021

Delaware Governor John Carney Announced Nov. 1, 2021

Delaware Announces Significant New ARPA Funding for Childcare Providers

$120M in total funding for childcare through ARPA; funding will support direct financial assistance for childcare professionals, and partnership with Delaware State University

DOVER, Del. – Governor John Carney, Lt. Bethany Hall-Long and members of Delaware’s congressional delegation joined childcare providers at Delaware State University on Monday to announce significant new funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support Delaware’s childcare industry and childcare professionals.

In total, ARPA is providing more than $120 million in relief for Delaware’s childcare industry. The federal legislation was signed on March 11 by President Joe Biden and championed in Congress by members of Delaware’s federal delegation – Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester.

ARPA investments in childcare announced on Monday include:

  • $24 million for the Child Care Stabilization grants to help childcare providers statewide remain open and operating. This investment is in addition to the $66 million in ARPA funding that already has been distributed through these stabilization grants.
  • $10.6 million in direct financial relief for Delaware childcare workers.

Also on Monday, Governor Carney and Delaware State University President Tony Allen announced $10.6 million in state ARPA funding for the university’s new Early Childhood Innovation Center, in partnership with the Delaware Department of Education (DOE) and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS).

“Delaware’s childcare providers have stepped up and stayed open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing hospital workers, first responders, and other emergency personnel to stay on the front lines over the course of this crisis. They deserve our support and a significant debt of gratitude,” said Governor Carney. “This new funding from the American Rescue Plan will support childcare providers, help providers keep their doors open, and help them attract and retain staff. We’re also excited about our new partnership at Delaware State University, which will build on workforce development efforts statewide to support current and future early childhood staff. I want to thank President Biden and our federal delegation for making these important resources available.”

“We know that the first five years are critical to a child’s development. The earlier we make these crucial investments in early learning, we are increasing their ability to thrive by providing them and their families with the tools they need to succeed,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “Delaware’s childcare providers answered the call during the pandemic and remained open so that frontline workers could work to save lives. Thanks to President Biden and our federal delegation, this strategic investment in early childhood education, along with the new Early Childhood Innovation Center at Delaware State University will expand the resources available to our children. There is more work to do, but this will go a long way to help them meet the challenges they face and create an equitable system of learning.”

“Early childhood education programs are the building blocks to a child’s success. We know that children who participate in these programs are more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college or job training programs. But with a workforce shortage exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of resources, early childhood education programs are in crisis,” said Delaware’s congressional delegation of Senators Tom Carper, Chris Coons and Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester. “That’s why we are proud to announce more than $120 million for the First State’s childcare industry from the American Rescue Plan Act – federal funding which will help childcare providers hire and retain the staff they need to keep their doors open. We look forward seeing these resources implemented to help grow and support Delaware’s early childhood education programs for future generations to come.”

“We are a workforce of primarily women, primarily BIWOC, many of whom are mothers and many of whom rely on government subsidy programs because they make just over minimum wage.  There are rarely benefits, there is rarely paid time off, and it’s a highly skilled workforce that is responsible for creating the social emotional and educational foundation children need to not only be successful in academics but all areas of life,” said Jamie Schneider, Executive Director of Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children (DAEYC). “I am confident that by working together, we can elevate early care and education in Delaware to be a national example of how to solve the childcare crisis.  We must continue to work in partnership to make sure families in Delaware feel secure in going to work each day knowing their children are in high-quality developmentally appropriate childcare.”

“Child care is essential infrastructure for our state, and these investments will have a significant, immediate impact on Delaware’s workforce and child care shortages,” said Madeleine Bayard, Chair of the Delaware Early Childhood Council. “We look forward to continuing to work with policymakers to ensure quality, affordable child care is available to all children and families.”

 “We know it takes a village to raise a child, and we cannot forget about those who make up the village,” said Dannaé Sewell, Director of Delaware State University’s Early Childhood Laboratory School. “The parents, guardians, community partnerships, and importantly, the early childhood educators. Keeping the early education workforce at the forefront is everyone’s job.”

Over the next five years, in partnership with DOE and DHSS, Delaware State University will receive a total of $30.6 million to support the construction and launch of the Early Childhood Innovation Center, invest in Delaware’s childcare workforce, and expand access to affordable childcare for Delaware families in need. The total includes the $10.6 million in ARPA funding announced on Monday. Under terms of the partnership, which is expected to be finalized this week, Delaware State University would develop statewide infrastructure for a unique pathway for Delawareans seeking careers in the childcare industry. The funding will also expand scholarship opportunities to support working professionals who are seeking additional education.

“We have always known that early childhood experiences are critical to the educational success of all children, especially those of color and/or living in poverty,” said Delaware State University President Tony Allen. “As a longtime advocate for education reform, I am thrilled to see the State taking this decisive step to address the issue. At the same time, I am humbled at the trust placed in Delaware State University, but equally confident that we will deliver for families across Delaware.”

Governor Carney, Lt. Governor Hall-Long and members of Delaware’s congressional delegation have recently announced several initiatives funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

In October, Governor Carney announced plans to invest $26.4 million in affordable housing in Wilmington, $50 million for jobs training programs statewide, and $50 million to build a modern Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill in Smyrna.

In Bridgeville last month, Governor Carney announced a $110 million plan to provide universal, wired broadband access for all Delaware homes and businesses. Delaware is aiming to become the first state to close every “last mile” with wired, high-speed broadband.

Additionally, Governor Carney and Lt. Governor Hall-Long announced a $100 million Community Investment Recovery Fund to support major, nonprofit capital projects statewide, and workforce funding for Delaware hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Click here for the Community Investment Recovery Fund application for nonprofits. The application deadline is November 30. 

Visit to learn more about how the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) is helping in Delaware.

 Click here for video from today’s announcement.

My Child DE is a user-friendly website that brings together resources to help families, providers and other caretakers make informed choices for the children of Delaware. The goal of My Child DE is to help these groups feel welcome, informed and empowered to engage, learn and take the next steps needed to support children.