On Thursday afternoon, WIVB-TV reported that Erie County leaders announced that a portion of the U.S. CARES Act funding will be used to assist with local childcare.

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Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says up to $25 million of the funds will be used to assist parents, childcare centers and provide aid to school districts.

Deputy County Executive Maria Whyte said that up to $11 million will be used in working with school districts and BOCES for virtual learning support centers throughout  Erie county.

Another $10 million will be used to replenish and expand the childcare subsidy to eligible families with the remaining $4 million designated for existing child care providers.

A survey recently conducted in Erie County revealed, nearly 9 out of 10 respondents had a need for childcare when schools go back into session.

“As a working mother and an educator, I empathize with all of the parents struggling to balance work, school and childcare,” said Erie County Legislator Lisa Chimera. “I am grateful for Erie County’s investment of $25 million for continued childcare subsidies, childcare facilities, and for virtual learning resources across our County. I want to thank County Executive Poloncarz for working closely with the Childcare Task Force to develop solutions for working parents in our community.”

Grant applications for funding are due by September 14, with selections announced on September 21.

Whyte says the centers will open by October 5 and be funded through December 30 of this year.