There's been a lot of talk about the daycare shortage in the Twin Ports - a problem that has only gotten worse since the pandemic.  The City of Superior is looking to address that problem directly with an influx of funding to help with establishing new daycare facilities for the community or expanding the capacity of already existing ones.

The help comes in the form of grant funding.  According to details shared in an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall], the city has set aside "$200,000 in local recovery funds provided through the American Rescue Plan Act".  A positive vote by the Superior City Council in March gave the go-ahead to a proposal made by Councilor Jenny Van Sickle.

Cute little children drinking milk at daycare

Van Sickle's idea to provide the funding for local daycares from the federal funds came as a result of the compounding problem.  In quick succession earlier this winter, two different daycare facilities in Superior closed their doors - displacing "a total of 70 children", with the resulting effects felt by their families. In making the proposal, Van Sickle shared:

"I'm extremely proud of our Council's collective effort to respond to an evolving situation in our community and want to thank city staff who helped make this possible."

Funds received through the application process can be used in a variety of ways.  The city provided the following examples:

  • Capital improvements
  • Classroom materials
  • Recruitment
  • Retention bonuses for employees
  • Safety improvements
  • Software
  • Staff education
  • Staff training
  • Technology

The application process opened on April 1.  Applications for the grant funding will continue to be accepted "through June 1, 2024 or until the $200,000 has been awarded".  In order to quality, all applicants must "provide proof of licensure or certification and a W-9 for the business".

The funding will ne dispersed in $10,000 allotments. "All grants must be spent and reported to the city by December 31, 2024".

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