Scranton Opens $1 Million Grants Program to Support Childcare Recipients and Providers through ARPA Funding
The Scranton Area Community Foundation will administer the new grant program.
The City of Scranton is providing $1 million in support to address the issue of affordable childcare and to offer those service providers a means to pay workers a higher wage. Residents employed by small businesses and eligible childcare providers in the City of Scranton can apply for the grants that are part of the City’s $68.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.
The Scranton Area Community Foundation will be the administrators of the new grant programs as part of their ongoing administration of several economic development programs.
“Supporting childcare means continuing to support economic development in Scranton,” Mayor Paige G. Cognetti announced at a press conference held at the Century Club of Scranton. “We have been successful in supporting childcare programs through our Rescue Plan funds, but there is more help needed. These latest programs will aid those receiving childcare in Scranton and those providing it.”
The new grants program offers two distinct awards. First, Scranton residents can apply for up to $40,000 in childcare support scholarships to defer the often-high cost of quality services. Second, childcare service providers located in Scranton can apply for Wage Boost grants to raise their employees’ wages closer to a state average. That program will operate similarly to the City’s ARPA Small Business Wage Boost program, with awards of up to $50,000 dispersed over the course of two years.
“Local statistics show that one of the major barriers to a family’s ability to both enter and return to the workforce is their ability to access quality childcare. The City’s ARPA Childcare Scholarships and Childcare Provider Wage Boost programs offer solutions to meet that problem head on in two different, but both very important ways,” said Laura Ducceschi, President & CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation. “This new grant program is going to make an important impact and is a critical part of the solution to childcare access in the Scranton area. We’re proud to serve as the grant administrator for these innovative programs.”
In May 2023, the City announced more than $725,000 in ARPA funding for six organizations to support ongoing and expanded affordable childcare services. Shortly after those awards were announced, childcare service providers gathered for a roundtable discussion in Archbald sounded the alarm about lengthy waiting lists and low hourly wages across Lackawanna County. This grant support is aimed at helping to address these challenges.
To meet requirements, Scranton residents must provide proof of residency, proof of employment, and meet income eligibility. Providers must be located within the City in an economically impacted or disproportionately impacted areas, submit a current license to provide services, be licensed for at least six months to provide those services, and complete the full grant application and submit all required documents.
Residents can apply online at www.safdn.org/apply.
Childcare Providers can apply online at www.safdn.org/grants.
For more information, applicants can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
An online presentation with program details is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwT12NEqOGQ.
Additional information about Scranton’s ARPA plan is online at scrantonpa.gov/arpa.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT (ARPA) OF 2021
ARPA is a $1.9 trillion federal economic stimulus bill. The City of Scranton received $68.7 million in ARPA funds to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its economic impacts. The mission of Scranton’s ARPA program is to give people access to resources, rebuild the infrastructure systems that impact their everyday lives, and foster equitable wealth generation that targets the needs of Scranton residents.