COLUMBUS (WCMH) – More than $8 million is set to be funneled to childcare providers in Franklin County.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, the Columbus City Council, and Franklin County announced Monday that the money, coming from the CARES Act, will help childcare providers handle new regulations, which include reduced teacher-child rations, reduced maximum class sizes, and new sanitization protocols.

The city will provide $6.2 million while Franklin County will kick in $2 million.

The money will go to childcare providers that serve low-income children in opportunity neighborhoods in Columbus, Groveport, Reynoldsburg, and Whitehall.

“The struggles of this pandemic are real and continuing,” Ginther said in a statement. “While we are taking additional steps to slow the spread of COVID-19, we must also do all we can to keep families whole and stable during this unprecedented time.”

“Access to childcare is a critical work support for parents, just as high-quality early learning is vital for long-term child development,” Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services Director Joy Bivens said in the statement. “On behalf of our Commissioners, we are proud to partner with the City to offer support for hundreds of child care providers serving thousands of children and families in communities with the greatest need.”

In addition, an additional $7.4 million of CARES Act funding will be used for rental and utility assistance.

The city announced $2.6 million in May to be used for rental assistance programs through IMPACT Community Action. City Council will vote Monday to amend the total amount to $10 million.

In addition, Columbus is set to spend just over $1 million to be used for utility assistance grants.

These rental and utility assistance funds will be distributed through various social services agencies to help families who have been unable to pay for utilities because of COVID-19.

“Families in Columbus continue to suffer from the negative financial impact of COVID-19,” said Councilmember Shayla Favor, Chair of City Council’s Housing Committee, in the statement. “I am proud of the work being done by IMPACT and other community partners to keep our residents out of eviction court. It is critical that we continue to utilize these dollars to keep our residents safe, housed and supported throughout the duration of this crisis.”

Columbus has received $157 million CARES Act dollars from the U.S. Treasury to provide assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act funding must be used for expenditures necessary to address public health issues due to COVID-19. 

For questions about the child care grants, go to the Franklin County Jobs and Family Services website.

For questions about rental assistance, go to the IMPACT website.

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