Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan (Ind-MP) said the Biden administration announced over the weekend that child care in the Marianas will receive $36.22 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding.
Sablan also disclosed in his e-kilili newsletter that the CNMI Department of Labor is getting $497,248 to speed up payments of unemployment assistance and develop an unemployment insurance program for the Marianas.
On child care funding, the delegate said the $36,220,162 will help child care providers stay open safely, keeping their employees on payroll and helping families with young children cover the cost of this service.
Sablan said that making sure pre-school-age children have a safe environment while parents are at work is one of his primary concerns as chairman of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education.
Sablan said the American Rescue Plan Act money for the Marianas comes from two sources—the Child Care Stabilization Fund and the Child Care Development Fund.
He said the Child Care Stabilization Fund supplies $22,282,113 to help providers in the Marianas reopen or stay open, maintain safe and healthy learning environments, keep workers on payroll, and get mental health support for educators and children.
The Child Care Development Fund, on the other hand, supplies $13,934,049 that may be used by the CNMI government to subsidize child care for families that need help, increase compensation for early childhood workers, and meet other care needs in the Marianas.
On funding to speed unemployment, he said that Congress set aside $497,248 for the insular areas in the CARES Act in March 2020 and that the U.S. Interior Department announced the award on Wednesday.