Yesterday United Way of Southeast Louisiana launched phase three of its early care and education provider assistance program, United for Early Care and Education, inviting licensed child care providers to apply for free technical and legal support rolled out in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning with a focus on the Payroll Protection Program. United for ECE – in partnership with Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and Agenda for Children – also offers providers access to free legal assistance, alerts about grant opportunities for small business owners, and resources to comply with federal grant and loan programs. These efforts are funded by UWSELA and a recent $95,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich.
Michael Williamson, UWSELA president and CEO, says with each passing day of the pandemic, parents are still struggling to access affordable child care while centers are struggling to remain viable.
The application is open now through Friday, Sept. 25. Providers may apply online at UnitedWaySELA.org/United-ECE-Application. Early care and education providers must be based in UWSELA’s service area, including Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes; have a quality rating score of Approaching Proficient or better; receive public funds to serve low-income children; and want help in maintaining or obtaining loans and/or grants for your business that were designed to help businesses adversely impacted by COVID-19. United for ECE is designed to prioritize centers who are the most in need of legal assistance and are the most at-risk of losing loan forgiveness without assistance. Priority will be given to centers that have received PPP loans and need guidance on loan forgiveness.