Frequently Asked Questions

1. What items are considered eligible?

Eligible expenses include:

  • Personnel costs, benefits, premium pay, and recruitment and retention.
    • Supporting the workforce is the recommended priority for spending
  • Rent or mortgage payments, utilities, facilities maintenance and improvements for insurance.
  • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), cleaning and sanitation supplies and services, or training and professional development related to health and safety practices.
  • Purchases of or updates to equipment and supplies to respond to COVID-19.
  • Goods and services necessary to maintain or resume childcare services.
  • Mental health supports for children and employees.

For more information on eligible expenses, please visit this page.

2. How much is my program eligible to receive?

For Round 1-3

  • Small Family Child Care: $37,500 total across Rounds 1-3
  • Large Family Child Care: $37,500 total across Rounds 1-3
  • Small Center/School Age Program (capacity 60 or less): $112,500 total across Rounds 1-3
  • Large Center/School Age Program (capacity more than 60): $150,000 total across Rounds 1-3

For Round 4

  • Small Family Child Care $7,000
  • Large Family Child Care $7,000
  • Small Center/School-Age Program (capacity 60 or less) $37,000
  • Large Center/School-Age Program (capacity more than 60) $49,000

For more information on eligibility, please visit this page.

3. What types of renovations will/won't be covered?

Minor repair and remodeling are particularly important to meet healthy and safety standards in response to COVID-19 safety practices. For example, the following activities have been considered minor renovations in different states and are applicable to implementation in centers and in family child care homes:

  • Installing new HVAC to improve ventilation
  • Installing smoke detectors, a sprinkler system, or other fire warning device
  • Installing secure storage for hazardous materials
  • Remediating lead paint and/or lead pipes
  • Improving food preparation areas
  • Installing room dividers
  • Improving internal play space
  • Installing age-appropriate plumbing, such as child-sized toilets and sinks
  • Purchasing materials and play equipment to improve outdoor spaces
  • Install plexi-glass barriers to a program entrance
  • Expand outdoor play and gathering spaces

Major Renovations will NOT be covered.  These include the following:

The funds cannot be used for major renovations or the purchase or improvement of land. Major renovation is defined as: (1) structural changes to the foundation, roof, floor, exterior or load-bearing walls of a facility, or the extension of a facility to increase its floor area; or (2) extensive alteration of a facility such as to significantly change its function and purpose, even if such renovation does not include any structural change.

Construction, the erection of a facility that does not currently exist, will not be covered.

4. What is the maximum allowed for a bonus?

The maximum allowed for a bonus would need to follow the same guidelines as Premium Pay, which is $25,000 per person for the entirety of the grant (Rounds 1-4). "Premium Pay" is additional wages paid during the COVID-19 pandemic to child care staff. These additional wages can be up to $13 per hour above their regular hourly rate. No staff person can receive premium pay greater than $25,000 for the entirety of the grant (Rounds 1-4). When facilities issue bonus pay or hazard pay, this extra pay must meet the criteria of Premium Pay ($13 dollars or less per hour and no more than $25,000 for any staff person for the entirety of the grant (Rounds 1-4).

5. What types of playground surfacing will be allowable? Will the program have to provide documentation that it is ASTMF1292 certified and accessible? Does the program have to get OCCL approval before installing a playground resurface or before expanding the playground (for example-to add a toddler play area that did not exist before)?

Programs must continue to follow typical OCCL procedures. If they had to get approval prior to installing a playground resurface or expanding a playground prior to this grant, then they must get it here as well.

6. Is new flooring, changing from carpet to something like vinyl plank flooring that can be sanitized and cleaned more easily, an eligible expense?

Yes, replacing flooring for the purpose of improved cleaning and sanitation is eligible.

7. Are typical cleaning services eligible or only extra COVID-related things like disinfectant fog?

Yes, typical cleaning services used during routine operations and that support meeting state and local health and safety guidelines are eligible.

8. Is the purchase of a pre-made outdoor storage shed, to house additional outdoor play equipment and to keep them clean and secured, an eligible expense?

Yes, purchasing outdoor storage in order to allow for increased outdoor activities and for keeping those materials clean and secure is eligible.

9. Is widening a driveway for a family child care program, so parents do not have to park on the street, with the goal of a safer entry/exit process for families, an eligible expense?

If COVID-related changes to drop off and pick up processes have resulted in longer entry and exit times for families, then yes, widening a driveway to allow parents to park off the street is an eligible use of funds.

10. For programs that are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, is there a timeframe they need to reopen by?

No, however, eligibility includes that programs must continue to be licensed and must have eligible costs necessary to provide childcare incurred April 1, 2021 – December 30, 2021 for Rounds 1-3 and January 1, 2022 – June 30, 2022 for Round 4.

11. I pay rent on my building. I also have a business loan. Please advise if one or both will be approved.

Rent is an eligible expense.  The funds would not be permitted to be used to pay back another loan.

12. May I write all of part of my teacher college debt into the grant application?

No, paying off another loan is not an eligible use of funds.

13. If a program had staff members out for extended periods of time due to illness stemming from COVID-19 or reactions due to the COVID-19 vaccine, and the program continued paying the staff their salary during that time period, can the program be approved for these expenses? Would only such expenses incurred from April 1st, 2021 or after be eligible?

Yes, reimbursing payroll for staff out due to COVID-19 are eligible expenses. Expenses incurred April 1, 2021 – December 30, 2021 are eligible for Rounds 1-3 and January 1, 2022 – June 30, 2022 are eligible for Round 4.

14. Is the “full” payroll cost, including taxes (e.g., matching FICA and Medicare, DE Unemployment Tax, FUTA Tax, Wilmington Head Tax, Delaware Training Tax), eligible, or are only the staff wage and benefits eligible?

Yes, the full program cost to support personnel, including wages, benefits, and program portion of taxes, is eligible.

15. Do the additional monies per hour have to be issued as a separate check to the employees?

A separate check is not required, but there must be clear documentation showing the additional amount that was issued.  This documentation will need to be submitted as part of the verification process.

16. A multi-site program would like to distribute salary bonuses to all staff including those who are not assigned to specific programs. The idea is to distribute those main office staff amongst the school sites for the purpose of receiving bonus pay. For example if a school site is eligible for $112,500 and $75,000 goes toward the staff there, can the additional $37,500 be used toward a bonus for a couple of support personnel who work in the main office supporting programming?

Only expenses related to the specific licensed program are eligible. If expenses are not able to be documented and verified, they are not eligible.

17. What portion of mortgage/rent and utilities is eligible for family child care programs operating out of the provider’s home?

Providers should use the Time-Space Percentage formula used for tax purposes. The formula is calculated by multiplying the Time Percent (number of hours that the home is used as a business divided by the total number of hours in the year) by the Space Percent (number of square feet regularly used for business divided by the total number of square feet in the home). The resulting Time-Space Percentage is the portion of mortgage/rent and utilities that is eligible.

18. Does a family child care provider use the time/space calculation for other related bills?

If submitting for utilities, then yes, the family child care program should apply the same percentage. The time/space percentage is the portion that would be eligible.

To calculate your time-space percentage, click here.

19. Would LFCC programs who are renting a separate space (not their home) be able to claim 100% of the rent and utility expenses? They are paying rent and utilities on the entire space their rent for the program.

Yes, this would be a qualified expense.  Just be sure to explain that on the application.

20. Can center-based programs submit for 100% of payroll, rent, mortgage, etc.?Yes, with the understanding that programs may only receive up to the listed amounts they are eligible for during each round.

Yes, with the understanding that programs may only receive up to the listed amounts they are eligible for during each round.

21. How do we allocate expenses such as rent, common area maintenance, real estate tax, etc as these expenses are not incurred or paid on a monthly basis but they are paid annually? We are looking for more information on how to report these expenses that are not necessarily incurred on a monthly basis?

Expenses may be submitted that are not paid on a monthly basis. Programs should show/document when the expenses were incurred. For instance, even if rent is paid on an annual basis, programs should submit based on when the cost was incurred (e.g., what is the monthly allocation of the annual rent?).

22. For corporate organizations that oversee programs across multiple states, are wages and bonuses of shared administrative/support staff eligible?

No, the stabilization sub-grants are designed to be applied to the needs of the program and staff specific to the licensed site that applied.

23. What is "Premium Pay"?

“Premium Pay” is additional wages paid during the COVID-19 pandemic to childcare staff. These additional wages can be up to $13 per hour above their regular hourly rate. No staff person can receive premium pay greater than $25,000 for the entirety of the grant (Rounds 1-4). When facilities issue bonus pay or hazard pay, this extra pay must meet the criteria of Premium Pay ($13 dollars or less per hour above their regular hourly rate and no more than $25,000 for any staff person entirety of the grant (Rounds 1-4).

24. Many of my employees have benefits such as health insurance, vision, dental, short-term disability, long-term disability, accident, hospital, life insurance. Which of these expenses are eligible? Most of these benefits are paid by employees. Some benefits are paid partially by employees and partially by employers. Do we only count the employer portion of the expense of the benefit?

The sub-grant funds are going to the program/business. Benefits paid by the business are eligible to be covered. The portion of benefits paid by the staff is not eligible; however, the business can choose to apply to use funds to pay the business portion and to cover the staff portion.

25. Can programs request funds for food costs?

If the explanation is that the food is a good or service necessary to maintain or resume child care services, then yes. This should be captured under the ‘Goods and Services’ category.

1. When will the application be available?
  • The application for Rounds 1-3 closed on December 23, 2021.
  • There is no application for Round 4. Programs that received an award during Rounds 1-3 will automatically receive a Round 4 payment.

For more information on the application, please visit this page.

2. What if I don't have an account with the state?

Any provider who is not in the state procurement payment system must create an account to be paid.

Website for this process can be accessed here.

You will also be automatically directed to this link at the end of the application.

3. What is the FSF ID number?

This is the First State Financial Number that you should already have if you’ve received Enhanced Reimbursement (ER funds) and your business & tax id numbers have remained the same.

4. How do I locate my FSF ID number?

If you can’t locate your number, you should call the Division of Accounting at 302-672-5000

You can also use the  Establishing User ID and Password Guide to look up your information.

5. I'm having trouble creating a state procurement payment system account to get an FSF number. What should I do?

This error means that you currently have an active supplier record with the State of Delaware.

You will need to create a User Account to access your supplier record. Please see the  Establishing User ID and Password Guide. Or you can call the Division of Accounting at 302-672-5000.

Either of these will help you locate your FSF Number.

6. When do I need to use all funds?

Providers must expend the funds and complete verification within 6 months of receiving the funds.

7. How do I check the status of my application?

If you have questions about your application for Rounds 1-3, please reach out to StabilizationFund@udel.edu.

8. When will I receive the funds?

For Round 4 payments: We do not have an estimated time of deposit. Round 4 payments are being processed in batches based on when your Round 1-3 payment was made and verified. You will receive an email with your award letter approximately two weeks prior to your payment being made.

9. Will I be taxed on this grant money?

Any money you receive from this grant is taxable income. We advise providers to consult with your financial/tax professional as to taxes and deductions.

10. Why is the race of a center's director a necessary question on the application?

This is a requirement from the federal government for all recipients of the grant.  If you are not comfortable answering, there is an option to decline responding.

11. Will funds be received via direct deposit?

Funds will be received by direct deposit or check; however, the program must be registered with the state financial system.

12. If we apply for a quote, but the financial cost is different (either higher or lower) how do we handle that?

Please contact your Stabilization Fund TA. The program will be supported in either 1) documenting the higher cost so the program is able to receive the difference if the quote was lower than the final cost and still within the amount the program is eligible to apply for or 2) identifying additional expenses to submit if the quote was higher than the final cost.

13. Does the receipt of additional pay through Stabilization Fund subgrants affect staff eligibility to receive state benefits? Does it make a difference if the additional pay is provided as an increased hourly rate or specific monthly bonuses?

For the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and General Assistance (GA): An increase to staff wage does count as income towards SNAP and Cash benefits. A one-time bonus provided to staff does not count toward SNAP or Cash benefits.

14. I have two centers but my payroll is under one umbrella. I understand that I submit 2 applications but how do I handle payroll for both? Do I have to break it up or just choose one center over the other to use as payroll?

The program is only eligible to receive sub-grants for payroll and bonuses for staff that are employed at the specific site applying. You may submit the combined payroll report for both centers as long as the report designates at which site the employees work.

15. If a center asks for sub-grant funds to be used toward salaries and/or premium or bonus pay would the center process the pay through their regular payroll system with taxes deducted or would a 1099 be necessary for any additional pay given to the employee? If a 1099 is generated, who sends this form?

The sub-grant funds are going to the program/business, and the state will be reporting the amount as income to the program. The program will have the responsibility of reporting any amount paid by the program to the staff.

1. How do I go about uploading more than 10 pages of documentation?

You can save multiple documents as one pdf and then upload them as one document. There are explanations for this process available, which can be found on our grant webpage.

Please ensure that your scanned images are legible so there are no delays in the approval process. If receipts are unreadable or obscured in a way that prevents proper review, a Stabilization Fund Technical Assistant will reach out to the contact listed on your program’s application for further clarification so you can resubmit the necessary documents.

2. Can we use General Ledger (GL) entries or something like Quickbook reports to document expenses?

Actual invoices are required for reimbursement or verification.

3. What happens when we have purchased items prior to the grant & do not have the itemized receipts?

Only expenses incurred after April 1, 2021 are eligible. Documentation is required to verify expenses. If documentation is not (and will not be) available, the expenses are not eligible.

4. Small Family Child Care programs consist of a single employee (the program licensee). Most family child care programs do not have separate business and personal accounts and the providers do not pull a specific salary. What documentation would be required for family child care providers to verify their “income”? What documentation would be required for family child care providers to verify they paid themselves a bonus?

Programs will receive an award letter that includes a breakdown of the expenses from the program’s application that have been approved. For amounts that are approved as salary and bonuses for the family child care licensee using the calculator provided or other method of verifying such expenses at the time of application, the award letter will serve as documentation to verify these expenses – additional documentation will not be needed. If any other expenses were requested and approved, Family Child Care programs WILL still need to provide documentation to verify those expenses, such as salary and bonuses for staff or substitutes or funding requests in other categories.

To calculate reimbursement wages, please click here.

5. How are child care center providers going to show allocated expenses incurred? For example, our corporation operates in over 40 different states including Delaware. The corporation pays insurance in lump sum payments for all of their centers so there will not be a specific invoice for the Delaware centers. How would we report these expenses?

Only expenses related to the specific licensed program are eligible. If expenses are not able to be documented and verified, they are not eligible.

6. How can corporate child care centers show fringe benefits paid to employees? There is not an invoice or equivalent to show due to different fringe being determined by the selections each employee makes. DHSS said to provide payroll documentation to show fringe. (Payroll documentation does NOT show fringe benefits, payroll documents only show the paid amounts to employees and does not account for fringe benefits.)

Programs should submit the documentation that they have that shows the expenses they are applying for. If payroll does not show fringe, please submit what does show fringe.

7. Where can I go for help with creating a budget or keeping track of the receipts and documentation?

You may find the professional development workshops offered by DIEEC helpful in planning for your grant application and/or in preparing for the follow-up verification.  The upcoming trainings are listed on the Early Education and Child Care Stabilization Fund here https://www.dieec.udel.edu/relevant-professional-learning/

8. For Round 4, will a bill be accepted that has a payment due date in January but the services were provided in December? (i.e. utility bill service date December 15th-January 15th, due date January 30th.)

The dates that the services were incurred (when the services were received) are the dates that will be considered.  In the example above, the incurred dates are December 15-January 15.  The services rendered in December would not be eligible.

1. How do I quality for the grant?

Eligibility Requirements for Rounds 1-3:

  • You must be a licensed childcare provider and you must indicate that you are open and available to provide child care services or closed due public health, financial hardship, or other reasons related to the COVID–19 public health emergency.
  • If an eligible provider was shut down during the pandemic, when applying for the grant, they must provide an estimate of the costs to reopen.
  • License Exempt child care programs and programs that are fully funded through Head Start, ECAP, Part B 619, and/or Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships are not eligible for this funding.
  • Programs that receive partial funding through ECAP and/or Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships are eligible to apply and receive Stabilization Fund sub-grants. Direct communication will be sent to each program with the program’s eligible amount.

Eligibility Requirements for Round 4:

  • Programs that have verified their initial Stabilization Fund sub-grant awards will automatically be moved forward for payment.

For more information on eligibility, please visit this page.

2. Are new programs eligible to apply?

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services and the Delaware Department of Education have secured funding to support newly licensed programs that were not eligible to participate in the initial rounds of the Stabilization Fund. Additional information can be found here.

3. Do I qualify for this grant if the business has been approved for a PPP loan through SBA ?

Yes, you must be a licensed childcare provider and you must indicate that you are open and available to provide childcare services or closed due public health, financial hardship, or other reasons related to the COVID–19 public health emergency.

4. A charter school (receives public funding, ESSER I and II funds as well as ARP funding to support learning at campuses for K-12 students) also operates a licensed early education program. Is the licensed program eligible to receive a Stabilization Fund sub-grant?

If the school’s charter is solely for the school’s K-12 program, then the separate licensed early care and education program is eligible to apply for a Stabilization Fund sub-grant. As part of the required documentation and verification, the program must clearly demonstrate that the Stabilization Fund sub-grant was fully allocated to the early care and education program.

5. If a center-based program has additional shifts, does this increase the amount for which they’re eligible? For example, if my licensed capacity is 40 (which qualifies as a small center), but I provide evening care in addition to typical hours, am I eligible for 80 slots (which would qualify as a large center)?

The program is eligible to apply based on their licensed capacity.  The program in the example is eligible for the amount allocated for small centers.

6. Is consultation with a financial/tax professional regarding planning/usage of sub-grants an eligible use of funds?

Yes.

 

Stabilization Fund Technical Assistants are available to support programs through the whole process! They are available to assist with understanding the Stabilization Fund requirements, verifying documentation for eligible expenses, and connecting programs with helpful resources.

They can be reached in two ways:

Through email StabilizationFund@udel.edu or the hotline number: 1-877-351-2841

You can also find supports provided on this Delaware Early Education and Child Care Stabilization Fund landing page on the Delaware Stars website for additional helpful information.