The Louisiana Department of Education will award nearly $10 million to childcare providers who are hurting for cash during the coronavirus shutdown. The money comes courtesy of the CARES Act.

Assistant State Superintendent Jessica Baghian says only about 30 percent of childcare centers are still open, and even the ones still open are bleeding cash.

“It will fund all of our centers that take publicly funded children and it has an extra grant for those that have stayed open to provide care for essential workers,” says Baghian.

A report indicates child care providers have already experienced a 1.7 million dollar loss in revenue since the shutdown began.

Applicants must complete an assistance form by Thursday, and the money is expected to be disbursed in early May. Baghian says it’s a vital injection of funds.

“Our childcares are small businesses. Like so many other small businesses right now they are hurting and running on razor thin margins, and we hope that this grant is one of many steps to help them sustain.

One-third of providers say they’ll have to close permanently if the state remains shutdown.

(Story written by Matt Doyle/Louisiana Radio Network)