<strong>Child care plans for the CHIPS and Science Act: What you need to know and how Care can help</strong>

Child care plans for the CHIPS and Science Act: What you need to know and how Care can help

The Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act which was passed in August 2022 provides $52.7 billion in federal funding to revitalize the U.S. semiconductor industry. While many funding opportunities are still open, in April of 2024, the first CHIPS Grant Recipients were announced, resulting in dozens of new projects totaling nearly $450 billion in private investments. These projects will create more than 56,000 jobs in the semiconductor ecosystem and support hundreds of thousands of additional U.S. jobs throughout the U.S. economy. 

Helping these workers find child care will be critical to success. In fact, applicants requesting Direct Funding over $150 million must submit a plan to provide access to child care—and all applicants, regardless of funding, are also encouraged to do so.

What are the CHIPS Act child care requirements? 

Guidelines for submitting a child care plan are documented in the Workforce Development Planning Guide—and summarized below. In general, child care should be:

  1. Affordable: Costs should be within reach for low- and medium-income households 
  2. Accessible: Care should be provided at a convenient location with hours that meet workers’ needs 
  3. Reliable: Care should grant workers confidence that they will not need to miss work for unexpected child care issues 
  4. High-Quality: Care should be provided in a safe and healthy environment that families can trust and that nurtures the healthy growth and development of children. 

Examples of child care programs cited include: 

  •  Employer-sponsored access to caregiving marketplace 
  •  Backup Care
  •  Pre-arranged agreement with existing child care providers
  •  Partnering with off-site providers 
  •  On or near-site child care
  •  Cash Assistance (vouchers/subsidies)

Recognizing that there is no one-size-fits-all child care solution, applicants are encouraged to propose solutions that are customized to meet the goals, budget, and needs of their workforce. The Department also encourages applicants to partner with organizations who have experience administering child care programs. 

How Care for Business can partner with you to meet CHIPS Act child care plan requirements

Care for Business has 35+ years of administering child care programs and can partner with you to develop customized solutions that meet the CHIPS Act child care plan requirements. Here are some quick tips to get you started:

  1. Survey your workforce: The Workforce Development Planning Guidelines provide a list of questions to help applicants articulate their plans. The first question is “Have you surveyed your workforce and local providers to assess needs?” We can help with this critical first step by offering this survey template containing best practices on surveying the needs of your employees. 
  2. Evaluate the market to find the right child care partners: This guide for evaluating providers can help you evaluate and identify child care partners who best meet your goals and objectives. 
  3. Create your child care plan: Applicants are required to articulate how they will ensure that care is accessible, affordable, high-quality, and reliable for facility and construction workers. Care for Business can partner with you to propose a full spectrum of child care solutions that meet CHIPS Act child care plan requirements as highlighted in the section below. 
  4. Submit your application: Application forms and instructions can be found on the CHIPS Incentive Program Application portal. Additional resources such as FAQs, fact sheets, and applicant guides and templates can be accessed on CHIPS.gov.

Care for Business solutions to support your CHIPS ACT application

These solutions that are designed to help families find and afford care, can help you meet CHIPS Act child care plan requirements. 

  • Care Membership is the world’s leading network for finding short- and long-term child care. Families can easily find and book background-checked babysitters, centers, and caregivers who meet their budget, location, and care needs.
  •  Backup Care is a subsidized solution that helps employees find care when their regular care plans are not available, so they don’t have to miss work. Backup Care provides access to a vetted network of in-home caregivers and child care centers plus the option for employees to get reimbursed if they use caregivers in their own personal network, such as a trusted babysitter, family member, or friend.
  • Child Care Discounts via LifeMart, an online marketplace featuring up to 10% off full-time tuition at brand-name child care centers, saves families on average nearly $1,600 per year. Discounts are available for au-pairs, nannies, and children’s activities–as well as senior care, and everyday essentials.
  • Care Specialists is a benefit that provides employees with dedicated 1:1 support from experienced care specialists who help families research, prescreen and find child care providers who meet their budget and scheduling needs, including centers, family day care homes, before-and-after school care, and in-home caregivers. 
  • Care Spending Account is a flexible solution that provides financial support for employees’ ongoing child care costs.

Additional customized solutions can be added to support your caregiving needs including on or off-site out of home caregiving partnerships with local daycare centers. 

Whether you need help identifying child care solutions to include in your plan, or you have identified partners and need to fill gaps, Care can offer guidance and solutions to help. Want to learn more? Connect with a member of our team.