The City of Scranton is providing $1 million in total funds to address the issue of affordable childcare and to offer those service providers a means to pay workers a higher wage. Residents and organizations 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.
“Supporting childcare means continuing to support economic development in Scranton,” Mayor Paige G. Cognetti announced at the Century Club of Scranton, 612 Jefferson Ave., 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 Scranton Area Community Foundation will be the administrators of the new grant programs, as part of their ongoing administration of several economic development programs. City Council approved Scranton’s original ARPA spending plan in May 2022.
One year later, 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.
“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. “We’re proud to serve as the grant administrator for these innovative programs.”
The new grants offer 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.
Scranton residents must provide proof of residency, proof of employment, and meet income eligibility requirements. Providers must be located within the City in either an impacted or disproportionately impacted area, submit a current license to provide services, be licensed for at least six months to provide those services, and complete the City’s Wage Boost worksheet.
Residents can apply online at www.safdn.org/apply.
Childcare providers can apply online at www.safdn.org/grants.
For more information, all applicants can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
An online presentation with program details is available to watch above or on our YouTube channel.
Last modified: September 1, 2023