County commissioner letter
Letter to county commissioners encouraging them to include afterschool programs in COVID relief funding:
Your county has one or more afterschool programs that could benefit from your county’s CARES Act Reimbursement Funding. Afterschool programs help families get back to work and help children recover from learning loss that occurred when schools were closed or virtual. Many afterschool programs remained open to serve families, even when schools were closed. Unfortunately, many programs are in danger of closing because they have fallen into a funding gap. COVID Educational Stabilization funding that went to schools has not filtered down to school-affiliated afterschool programs. Additionally, many quality, legally-operating, community-based afterschool programs have been ineligible for funds for which early child care providers have been eligible, such as the Paycheck Protection Program and small business loans.
However, you can help ensure that quality afterschool programs in your county stay open, providing for families today and building your workforce for tomorrow.
We have heard from county officials that there has been some lack of clarity about to how to spend the funds, but Governor Parson’s office has advised us that counties should feel confident in allocating funding for afterschool programs when used in a manner consistent with how the state has allocated funds. Recently, the state has made funding available to afterschool programs through additional COVID relief funds channeled through the Department of Health and Senior Services. Afterschool programs with 9-digit Department Vendor Numbers, regardless of whether the number is active, are now eligible to receive funding, along with other child care providers. By extension, your county could make funds available to afterschool programs in the same manner as the state of Missouri.
Please contact Missouri AfterSchool Network Policy Coordinator Natalie Hampton if you have questions about how to include afterschool programs in funding opportunities or if you would like to learn more about the important work of programs in your county.
Missouri AfterSchool Network