Bonuses en route to licensed child care centers in Alabama

Bonuses en route to licensed child care centers in Alabama
Bonuses en route to licensed child care centers in Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) – Big bonuses are on the way for Alabama’s child care centers and teachers. This is another round of funding to help child care centers recover from the loss of employees during the pandemic.

Money from the American Rescue Plan Act means bonuses of $3,000 for full-time employees and $1,500 for part-time workers at licensed child care centers statewide.

Sharon Caddell runs the show here at Little Peoples Daycare in Tuscaloosa, watching over babies ages three months to 5 years old. Caddell is more than happy to hear that DHR is offering another round of bonuses to child care providers.

“Coming back from COVID has been difficult and stressful as many of our older workers have not returned due to COVID and for health reasons,” Caddell said.

Caddell says they plan to ask for the bonuses. Caddell will then use them as incentives in the hiring process. She doesn’t yet know how many employees she needs, but the more the better, according to Caddell.

“We are three thousand times more workers than we hire and 15 hundred times more part-time workers than we have. This money is essential to get them and keep them,” Caddell said.

New employees must commit to staying for a certain period of time as part of the incentive bonus program. Since the program launched in November 2021, more than 11,000 child care workers have received bonuses. The program ends in September next year.

For Caddell, she’s grateful that new bounties are on the way, knowing there’s an underlying truth for those caring for the little ones at Little Peoples Daycare.

“Believe it or not, these workers work hard and as daycare owners we will never be able to pay them their fair value, ever,” Caddell said.

According to DHR, the state has nearly 2,000 day care providers.

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