ST. LOUIS – St. Louis City and St. Louis County officials have approved plans to help childcare workers financially in a post-pandemic work setting.

On Thursday, St. Louis City officials approved a plan to distribute nearly $2 million to childcare providers. Eligible providers could receive up to $49,500 of funding.

“Working moms and dads rely on quality, affordable childcare in their communities,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “Childcare providers suffered during the height of the COVID-19 crisis. This partnership between the Community Development Administration and Saint Louis MHB will support dozens of providers and improve access to the childcare working families need.”

The distribution comes in partnership with the St. Louis Mental Health Board. Around 56 providers are expected to receive a share of $1.6 million in ARPA funds.

Right now, St. Louis County is also testing a new program that could boost pay for childcare workers.

The temporary pay boost program is called ‘Wages.’ The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports it will use money from a COVID-19 relief grant. This will be supplemental pay within the low-wage county program. Coordinators say they are still finalizing details.

The St. Louis County Council passed a measure in June allowing $5.6 million in federal aid to support nonprofit training and early childhood care.