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News & Press: Policy & Advocacy

New Child Care Funding Available

Wednesday, July 15, 2020  
Posted by: Lara Richardson
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The Department of Human Services has announced early childhood and nonprofit certified centers will be eligible for $56.6 million in new funds to help ensure health & safety in their child care settings during the pandemic.

Today, Wednesday, July 15, a personalized application link will be sent to all eligible family child care providers, center-based child care programs and nonprofit certified centers.

In order to receive these funds, programs must have been operating and serving children as of June 15, 2020. Providers must also have a license in good standing and not be a subject of a finding of fraud, in addition to other criteria. Providers must complete the application by July 23 at 5:00 p.m. No applications will be received after this time, and providers that don't fill out the application by the deadline will not be able to receive any of the monthly installments.

Providers who need assistance or are unable to access their application link, including those who need support in other languages, should contact Child Care Aware of Minnesota at 651-290-9704 or email supportfunds@childcareawaremn.org.

Please refer to this FAQ for more information.

FDA Warning About the Dangers of Hand Sanitizers with Methanol

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to consumers and health care providers about hand sanitizer products that are labeled as containing ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol contamination. Methanol (i.e., methyl alcohol or wood alcohol) is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested. As per the FDA news update hyperlinked below, “Methanol is not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizers and must not be used due to its toxic effects. FDA’s investigation of methanol in certain hand sanitizers is ongoing. The agency will provide additional information as it becomes available.”

FDA has identified more than two dozen hand sanitizers that are toxic when absorbed through the skin. 

Consumers who have been exposed to a hand sanitizer containing methanol and are experiencing symptoms should seek immediate treatment for the potential toxic effects of methanol poisoning, which can include nausea, vomiting, headaches, blurred vision, permanent blindness, and seizures. Although people of all ages are at risk for methanol poisoning, “young children who accidentally ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute are most at risk.”

Please see the full FDA news update on hand sanitizers with methanol for further information.

Take Action at the Federal Level

The U.S. Congress is discussing another COVID-19 relief package. Please take action today to encourage them to include dedicated funding for child care.

Both Congress and Minnesota have taken important steps to provide relief to families, small businesses, and major industries as the struggle with the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, including child care. However, as we know, not all programs that needed financial assistance received it. In addition, it is clear that the negative effects of the pandemic are not over. Child care providers continue to adapt to provide safe care in this challenging situation, and they need sustained financial support.

We know that a well-resourced, equitable child care system is essential for children, families, educators, and a healthy economy. 

Please take a moment today to let your members of Congress know that you want an investment of $50 billion in child care included in the next relief package. We encourage you to add your personal story to the message to make it more impactful. 

Also, here are a few sample tweets to send tomorrow, Thursday, July 16, which is a national day of action. 

  • The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated how critical child care is for our families, communities, and economy. [@SENATOR], we need immediate action to #SaveChildCare with substantially more funding so many centers and providers don't close permanently. America needs child care.
  • The first proposed #COVID19 stimulus package was a start for providers to begin accessing the funds they need to #SaveChildCare. It’s been three months and the industry needs significantly more funding. [@SENATOR] please show your support and call on Congress to pass legislation NOW.
  • Early educators are essential to the U.S. economy, providing a critical support for families. If the child care industry doesn’t get substantially more funding soon, we may not be there to support parents and the economy during reopening and recovery. [@SENATOR] #SaveChildCare.
  • [@SENATOR], we are counting on you to prioritize passing increased funding for child care immediately. We need at least $50B to #SaveChildCare!

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