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Child care workers in PA eligible for $600 grants

There's some extra help available for those who work in the child care industry.

DUNMORE, Pa. — When Amanda Teague started her new job at Creative Lil' Minds Childcare in Dunmore last year, she had no idea what challenges were about to come before her.

"When I first started, everything was totally normal, and then, March 17th was the day we all got put out," said Teague.

Since then, most child care workers have returned to their jobs, but that doesn't mean the struggle stopped.

RELATED: Daycare centers tackle social distancing

When Teague and her fellow employees heard Governor Wolf's announcement that child care workers can now apply for one-time, $600 grants, they were all relieved.

"It would really help a lot. Honestly, it really would. I have a daughter; my daughter actually comes here," said Teague. "I actually had to give up my apartment and move back in with my parents because of everything, so I mean, it would be great."

Heather Pena owns this location in Dunmore, as well as another daycare center in Lake Ariel.

She applied for the grant for all of her employees as soon as she heard about it.

"When we closed down, we had 42 kids enrolled, and we were closed for 3 months from March until June. When we opened back up in June, we only had 18 children enrolled, so we went from 42 kids to 18. So that's a big difference in money," said Pena.

Aside from the financial help, employees here say it also feels good just to be recognized for their work.

RELATED: Area day care centers in high demand

"Child care is super important for our economy. Parents can't work if they don't have somewhere reliable to send their children during the day. So it's a great way to reward all of the people who are helping our economy hopefully go back to somewhat normal," said Pena. 

Grants will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis, and the deadline for providers to apply is Feb. 12. Click here for more information.