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ALABAMA (WHNT) — The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) has announced that its taking applications for a new round of grants supporting childcare providers around the state.

The department said that beginning May 12 it will be accepting applications for Temporary Assistance for Stabilizing Child Care grants. The applications will be open until June 16.

DHR said the grants are meant to reinforce the recovering childcare industry in Alabama and are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act. The Department said those that qualify will receive $2,000 for each daytime childcare slot, which is double the original grant amount.

Alabama DHR commissioner Nancy Buckner said the grants are an important part of combatting the challenges faced by childcare providers.

“These grants are another key step toward resolving the complex challenges facing the childcare industry,” she said. “Although some obstacles remain, we are making steady progress thanks to our valuable partnerships with childcare providers, advocates and policymakers.”

DHR said that allowable grant expenditures include employee pay, facility maintenance and purchases of classroom materials, cleaning supplies or meals. Providers also can use the funds for tuition relief.

To qualify for the grants a provider must be licensed and operating in good standing with DHR at the time they apply and receive the grant. They must also remain in operation for at least one year after the grant is awarded.

Applications and more information about the program can be found here.