Sitka Tribe of Alaska Social Services staff stand with representatives of local licensed child care
providers. (Photo provided by Sitka Tribe of Alaska, 2023.)

The Sitka Tribe of Alaska (STA) awarded four child care providers in Sitka with over $200,000 in federal funding this week.

Betty Eliason Child Care Center, Sheldon Jackson Child Care Center, Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool and 3-5 Preschool received a combined total of $238,000 in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. The 2021 federal act awarded a total of $45 million to Alaska in child care stabilization’ grants. 

Licensed child care providers serving at least one tribal youth were eligible for these particular funds. Melonie Boord, Director of Social Services at STA, said that providers can use the funds for a variety of operational expenses, from paying staff to funding maintenance projects. 

“It helps them to take some pressure off of, you know, how they were going to make it through the remainder of the year,” Boord said.

Lolly Miller directs the Sheldon Jackson Child Care Center. She is glad to have funds that can help cover the basic costs of operations.  

“For this particular money, we asked to just be able to pay bills, to use it for electric, to use it to pay oil, to just take care of our monthly things that we have to keep the program going,” Miller said. “And that’s never happened before.”

Providers received the funds on Tuesday (8-15-23.)