What is the SC Building Blocks Grant?

Child care stabilization grants were appropriated to states in the American Rescue Plan Act (Public Law 117-2) to help stabilize the child care sector via subgrants to child care providers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds must be used to support the key operating expenses of child care providers to help ensure access to child care for families.  In South Carolina, these stabilizations grants are called “SC Building Blocks”. 

**The SC Building Blocks stabilization grant (Round 1 and Round 2) applications are no longer available. **

How do I report spending for the SC Building Blocks Stabilization Grants?

DSS has opened the reporting portal for child care providers to upload documentation of grant spending for SC Building Blocks Stabilization Grants. Child Care providers are required to report how they are spending their grant funding for Round 1 and Round 2. To report grant spending, click here.

You can check out the reporting guidance, click here.

What is needed for grant reporting?

View the below video to learn more about the SC Building Blocks Grant and information about allowable expenditures and required documentation for reporting how funds from the grant are spent. 

FAQs

How do I determine if my facility is eligible? 

***The SC Building Blocks stabilization grant (Round 1 and Round 2) applications are no longer available***

What would I be able to use the fund for?

Stabilization grants are available to assist providers in several categories associated with running and maintaining a child care facility.  Below are the areas that these funds can be applied to. Verification of use of funds will be required quarterly. 

  • Personnel Costs
    • Wages and benefits for child care program personnel, including wage increases or bonuses for any staff in a child care center or family child care providers and their employees; health, dental, and vision insurance; scholarships; paid sick or family leave; and retirement contributions.
  • Rent, utilities, facility maintenance, and insurance
    • Major renovation means: (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.
    • This can include any late fees or charges related to late payments.
    • Facility maintenance can be used for minor improvements, especially those pertaining to health and safety in the facility, but cannot be used for any major construction or renovations.
  • Personal Protective Equipment, Cleaning, and other health and safety practices
    • This does not just apply to PPE items related to COVID 19, but can also include any items necessary to meet state requirements for health and safety guidelines.  This includes training or prevention related to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Safe Sleep Practice, CPR and First Aid, Food and Allergy safety, Abuse and Neglect, and other health concerns.
  • Equipment and Supplies
    • All equipment must be in response to the COVID 19 public health emergency and aid the business in meeting and maintaining health and safety requirements related to COVID 19.
    • Equipment can include physical or technological upgrades.
  • Goods and Services
    • Can be any material good or service necessary to the operation of a child care program.
  • Mental Health Services
    • To support the mental health of children and employees.
  • Past Expenses
    • This includes any expenses incurred by the child care that occurred prior to the stabilization grant being available that may cause financial harm to the child care program.

How is this grant distributed? 

Each facility will receive a base amount based on their enrollment.  Additional funds could be added depending on certain factors. 

If your facility is currently open the first payment will be immediate upon the approval of the application and consist of 25% of the total grant amount.  The second payment will be 2 months after the first payment.  The remaining payments will be distributed 3 months after the previous payment until the total awarded amount has been distributed. 

If your facility is temporarily closed the first payment will be immediate upon the approval of your application and consist of 1/12 of the total grant amount.  The facility has 30 days to open from that first payment.  Should they open then they will receive 1/6 of the remaining amount and then receive payments every 3 months until the full amount awarded has been distributed.  Should the facility not open 30 days from the first payment the funding will be cancelled and no further payments will be distributed. 

Users will need to ensure that they are listed as a vendor for SCEIS.  If your program already participates in Voucher or has received any prior grants then this action is not necessary.  For those of you that have not received any payment from SC DSS Early Care and Education then you will need to contact scstabilizationgrant@dss.sc.gov and provide the following documentation:

  • If you operate under a Federal Tax Identification Number (FEIN), you must provide a signed, completed W-9 and a copy of your IRS letter (147-C or SS4).  The name on these two documents must match. 
  • If you operate under a Social Security Number (SSN), you must provide a signed, completed W-9 and a copy of your Driver's License and a copy of your SSN card.  The name on these documents must match. 

Please be aware that all funds are taxable and will need to be spent no later than September 30, 2023.

How do I determine the amount my facility is eligible for? 

A grant calculator has been developed to help your program estimate the amount that your child care is eligible for.  This is only an estimation and the amount may be subject to change based on verification of application.

Click here to use our interactive calculator. Funds are determined by the following calculations:

Licensed or Registered Child Care Facilities

Base Amount:

Open or Temporarily closed with enrolled children CCC and Registered Faith-based Facilities Temporarily Closed with no enrolled children CCC and Registered Faith-based Facilities Group Child Care Home     Family Child Care Home
(Licensed and Registered)      
Enrollment x $1,000 = Base Amount (PreCovid Enrollment x .5) x $1,000 = Base Amount $60,000 = Base Amount $45,000 = Base Amount

Enrollment is verified through the SC Endeavors Workforce Registry Profile.  Facilities that have not created an SC Endeavors Workforce Registry Profile will need to complete one before submitting an application for the SC Building Blocks Grant.

Supplemental Factors

Consists of bonuses that can be added to the base amount if applicable to the facility.

  • Infant Capacity: Determined by the amount of infants designated on a facility’s license or registration. Base Total x .25
  • Child Care Center licensed Capacity: Determined by the capacity listed on a facility's license or registration. This supplemental is only applicable to Licensed or Registered Child Care Centers. Verified with Child Care Licensing. 
1-49 Capacity 50-99 Capacity 100+ Capacity
$15,000 $20,000 $25,000
  • Participation in ABC Quality: Verified with ABC Quality
  Level C or Pending Level Level B or B+ Level A or A+
Family or Group Child Care Homes $5,000 $10,000 $15,000
Small
(1-49 children capacity)
$10,000 $15,000 $20,000
Medium
(50-99 children capacity)
$15,000 $20,000 $25,000
Large
(100+ children capacity)
$20,000 $25,000 $30,000
  • How many recipients of vouchers have you served in the past two years? The facility must be an active ABC Quality and Voucher participant at the time of application to qualify for this supplemental. Verified with SC Voucher.
0-50 Recipients 51-100 Recipients 101-150 Recipients 151+ Recipients
Base Amount x .2     Base Amount x .3     Base Amount x .4     Base Amount x .5    
  • Are you currently serving a recipient of vouchers? Verified with SC Voucher. Base Amount x .1
  • Are you located in an area that qualifies for an Equity Index? The equity index used in the SC Building Blocks grants is a composite index of the Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) from the Centers for Disease Control, low licensing capacities to meet child care demand, and high density of children under age five living below poverty in each county.  To find your county's level click here
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
Base Amount x .1 Base Amount x .2 Base Amount x .3 Base Amount x .4
  • Is your facility open overnight, 24 hours, or on the weekends? Verified through the Hours of Operation reported to Child Care Licensing. Base Amount x .15
  • Does your facility participate in CACFP at the time of application? Verified with Child and Adult Food Program. 
Child Care Center, Registered Faith-based, or Group Child Care Home Licensed or Registered Family Child Care Home
$5,000 $2,500

Subtotal

The Base amount + total eligible supplemental amount = Subtotal

Staff Compensation

Your child care facility will also need to determine if you are opting to spend 25% of the grant on staff compensation. 

Opt in to staff compensation Opt out of staff compensation
Subtotal = Total Grant amount eligible for Subtotal x .75 = Total Grant amount eligible for

 

Licensed Exempt Child Care 

Licensed exempt child care is defined as a facility operating under 4 hours as day or 2 days a week and participating in ABC Quality.

Base Amount

Level C or Pending Level B or B+ Level A or A+
$25,000 $30,000 $40,000

Supplemental Factors

Consists of bonuses that can be added to the base amount if applicable to the facility. 

  • How many recipients of vouchers have you served in the past two years? The facility must be an active ABC Quality and Voucher participant at the time of application to qualify for this supplemental. Verified with SC Voucher.
0-50 Recipients 51-100 Recipients 101-150 Recipients 151+ Recipients
Base Amount x .2     Base Amount x .3     Base Amount x .4     Base Amount x .5    
  • Are you located in an area that qualifies for an Equity Index? The equity index used in the SC Building Blocks grants is a composite index of the Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) from the Centers for Disease Control, low licensing capacities to meet child care demand, and high density of children under age five living below poverty in each county.  To find your county's level click here
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
Base Amount x .1 Base Amount x .2 Base Amount x .3 Base Amount x .4

Subtotal

The Base amount + total eligible supplemental amount = Subtotal

Staff Compensation

Your child care facility will also need to determine if you are opting to spend 25% of the grant on staff compensation. 

Opt in to staff compensation Opt out of staff compensation
Subtotal = Total Grant amount eligible for Subtotal x .75 = Total Grant amount eligible for

Contact Us

If you have any questions on the stabilization grant, application, or distribution of the grant please contact Tameka Pauling by email, scstabilizationgrant@dss.sc.gov, or by phone, 1-800-476-0199. You can also check out our FAQ.

If you would like assistance with the application or assistance with planning how to use the grant funding please contact SC Child Care Resource and Referral Network at (888) 335-1002 or complete a web referral at www.sc-ccrr.org.

 

Helpful Resources