Moline Offers Loans for Child Care
Hoping to get people back to work and boost the local economy, Moline wants to improve access to child care. Tuesday night the city council will consider using 500,000 dollars from its ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds to offer forgivable loans.
Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati says the money could help agencies open or expand their child care programs, and encourage city residents to offer in-home care.
"Because we want as many people who can work to work, and we know that many of our industries need people to come back into the workforce. And we want to give people entrepreneurial opportunities as well."
She says last fall, city staff and local agencies came up with the proposal for forgivable loans based on the success of Moline's existing loan program for small businesses hurt by the pandemic.
"There was a pre-existing need prior to the pandemic, exacerbated by the pandemic, and we know that even in just the six months that I have been working on this with our staff that six Moline child care centers have closed."
Mayor Rayapati says the closing of those six centers has meant the loss of nearly 50 child care slots.
She hopes the forgivable loan program will also result in more child care options for parents who work the second shift, third shift, and weekend hours.