TOPEKA (KSNT) — Child care centers across Kansas are getting thousands of dollars to help keep up with business during the pandemic.

Some centers struggled during pandemic lockdowns, especially those that stayed open to help essential workers.

Pastor Nathan Marsh who helps run the daycare at First Baptist Church in Topeka said the facility faced similar setbacks to other child care providers in the state.

“During the midst of lockdown, it was a tough time. We had some parents who chose to pay to keep their child’s spot. We had others that did not,” Pastor Marsh said.

Marsh said the facility stayed open during lockdown to help provide care for children whose parents had to work essential jobs. The facility was one of nearly 3200 centers in the state to receive money in the initial round of funding to help stay afloat.

Governor Laura Kelly announced additional grants, Child Care Sustainability Grants, through a partnership with Kansas DCF and Child Care Aware of Kansas, to support child care providers in the state just last month. The grants range from $5,000 for family programs to $60,000 for large centers.

“As we grow the economy, this second round of grants will provide the continued support our child care facilities need to stay open and to ensure that Kansas families have access to safe, quality child care.”

Governor Laura Kelly, D-Kansas

According to Marsh, the church’s daycare plays an essential role in providing services to the community. Now, with the extra dollars, he said the facility is able to renovate their playground and rec center, which kids in their daycare and neighborhood use in their free time.

“I think it’s absolutely critical that child care centers remain open, and continue to be able to add that service for those in our community.”

For more information about the Child Care Sustainability Grants, click here.