Technology Access Program

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SFTA logo

Información en español 

Deadline to Apply is June 18, 2021 at 6 p.m.

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) is committed to supporting Wisconsin’s early childhood workforce during the COVID-19 crisis. Several rounds of funding were awarded to child care programs throughout Wisconsin in 2020 and early 2021. Now we are launching a new program to provide much needed technology access to further support child care program businesses. Through the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) of 2021, credited to the state’s Child Care and Development Block Grant award, $10 million in funds are being directed toward supporting child care programs through the Technology Access Program.

DCF has contracted with Supporting Families Together Association (SFTA) and Kaplan Early Learning Company to offer eligible regulated Wisconsin child care programs the opportunity to order free technology devices and software to support business operations. Applications are being accepted between May 24 and June 18, 2021.

Each child care program may select desired technology items from a list of options, up to a predetermined total cost based on the program’s type and capacity. The goal of the Technology Access Program is to help Wisconsin’s child care providers access the technology tools they need to thrive as educators and business owners during this pandemic.

Application Dates

May 24, 2021 at 6 a.m. through June 18, 2021 at 6 p.m.

Eligible child care providers and programs may start applying as soon as they receive their email with username and password from Kaplan. If a child care program meets all eligibility requirements and did not receive an email to the person on record (usually licensee or director) from Kaplan by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 26, email DCFDECECOVID19CCPayments@wisconsin.gov or call 608-535-3650.

Important Note:
Read all program details and Frequently Asked Questions below. Eligible programs may submit only one (1) order through the Kaplan portal ordering site.  

Available Technology Tools

Each child care program may select desired technology tools from a list of options, up to a predetermined total cost based on the program’s type and capacity.   English       Spanish 

Available items include:

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Printer/scanners
  • Wireless routers
  • Wi-Fi access points
  • Wi-Fi boosters
  • Walkie talkies
  • QuickBooks accounting software

Approved Uses

Technology purchased with this funding may be used only in these approved manners:

  • Business use for the child care program
  • Professional development for child care program staff
  • Classroom resource for child care program staff — If a product purchased with this funding is going to be used as a classroom resource, the adult must be the primary user of the item. Children are not permitted to be primary users of electronic devices purchased with CRRSA funds.

 

Eligibility Requirements

The Technology Access Program is open to regulated programs who meet the following eligibility requirements: 

  • Regulation Requirements 

    • Program must be regulated and in good standing as defined by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) as of 5/21/2021. 
    • Program must be a current licensed group child care program, day camp, or family child care provider; a program operated by or under contract with a public school board; or a certified family child care provider.
    • Program must be open as of 5/21/2021. Programs that are temporarily closed (14 day or less) because of a COVID exposure and programs that are closed due to seasonal operation are still considered open for the purposes of this opportunity.
  • Program must follow the health and safety administrative rules for child care providers as outlined by DCF Child Care Regulation and meet the requirements of any local orders. 
  • Program must be currently repaying any overpayment and/or in compliance with any Repayment Agreement, if any Wisconsin Shares or Child Care Counts overpayments are owed.

 

How to Apply (How to Order Technology Products)

Ordering Information

You will be able to access the order portal here from May 24, 2021 at 6 a.m. through June 18, 2021 at 6 p.m. 

  • Each location of a regulated child care program may place only one (1) order to use their Technology Access Program funds.
  • The person placing the order must be an authorized representative of the child care program (such as an owner, director, administrator, etc.). 
  • Child care programs will receive an email from Kaplan Early Learning Company in the next week with their personal login credentials to access the Technology Access Program order portal and place an order.
  • Use this guide for instructions on how to place your technology order. 
  • If you believe you are eligible but have not received an email by May 26 contact your local CCR&R for your portal username and password.

Each location of a regulated child care program may place only one (1) order to use their funds. Any remaining funds for which the program was eligible and were not used in that order are forfeited at the time the order is placed. You will not be able to place a second order through the portal.
 

How Payments are Determined (Maximum Purchase Amounts)

Maximum Purchase Amounts

  Program Size/Capacity Amount
Certified Family NA $1,250
Licensed Day Camp NA $1,000
Licensed Family NA $1,500
Small Group Cap 50 or fewer $2,500
Medium Group Cap 51 to 149 $3,000
Large Group Cap 150 or higher $3,500

 

  • HP Notebook: All HP Notebooks come with a 30-day trial of Office. This particular notebook comes with the following other software preloaded: HP Support Assistant; Native Miracast support; HP Audio Switch; HP Documentation; HP Setup Integrated OOBE; HP SSRM; HP JumpStarts; McAfee® LiveSafe™ 30 day trial; Xerox® DocuShare® 30 day free trial offer.
  • All 3 Chromebooks: This applies to Item #36154 Acer Chromebook, Item #35418 Samsung Chromebook, and Item #36258 Acer Chromebook Spin 511: Chromebooks use the Chrome web browser. Applications can be found on any Chromebook in the App Store. They come with Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Presentations, Google Keep and Google Play. It also has Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Maps and Hang Outs.  You can install additional apps from the Google Play Store.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Placing Your Order

I'm not sure which items I want to order.

If you are not sure which of the available products could most benefit your program, we recommend you contact your local CCR&R or YoungStar Quality Coach. They will be happy to make suggestions and discuss creative uses for this technology to support your child care program.

Kaplan Early Learning Company is also available to discuss these products, their specifications, and ways they can be used.

Contact:
Michelle Marshall
Educational Technology Specialist, Kaplan Early Learning Company
mmarshall@kaplanco.com
Phone: 336-712-3229
*Please note: Kaplan representatives can only provide product details. They are not able to answer questions about the Technology Access Program.

The chart below outlines which products may be most helpful to programs of different types and sizes. You are welcome to order any of these products, no matter your program type. This chart is only a reference resource.

Product May be most helpful for programs that are . . .
Laptop Family or group
Tablet School-age, group, or day camp
Printer/scanner All types
Wi-Fi booster Rural or in a large home/building
Wireless router Family or group
Wi-Fi access point Rural family or group
Walkie talkie School-age or day camp
Accounting software 
(QuickBooks)
Family or small group

 

Can I make changes to my order after it is placed?

Once your order is submitted, you will not be able to change it through the ordering portal.
If you clicked submit in error before your order was complete, contact SFTA staff immediately at microgrants@supportingfamiliestogether.org or call 608-443-4310.

As part of the Technology Access Program, each child care program may submit only one (1) order through the Kaplan portal ordering site. Any remaining funds for which the program was eligible and were not used in that order are forfeited at the time the order is placed. You will not be able to place a second order through the portal.

My program is temporarily closed. Can I place an order?

Only programs that have been open since May 21, 2021 are eligible for this opportunity. For the purposes of the Technology Access Program opportunity, programs are still considered open if they are temporarily closed for 14 days or fewer because of COVID-19 exposure, or if they are closed due to seasonal operation.

If you are unsure, contact your local CCR&R to confirm your program’s eligibility status.

Is the group & school-age program capacity affected by current enrollment numbers?

The group and school-age program licensed capacity is based upon the maximum number of children your child care program is licensed to care for. It is not affected by current enrollment numbers.

For example, if a group or school-age program is licensed to care for 60 children but currently has only 30 enrolled, they would still be considered a “medium-size” program (licensed for 51-149 children) for the purpose of the Technology Access Program opportunity.

The item I want says it will not ship for 3-6 weeks. Should I still order it?

You can and should still order items that the portal says are out of stock or backordered! Kaplan knows every provider in the state is ordering right now and they are getting plenty of all these items in stock. Their website automatically places that note, do not let it stop you from ordering the items that will be most beneficial to you and your program.
We are estimating that all orders may be delivered 2-8 weeks from the date you place your order. Due to COVID-19, many supply chains and delivery operations are delayed. We know you’re excited for your new technology, and we appreciate your patience!

When will I receive my order?

Your items may be delivered 2-8 weeks from the date you place your order. Due to COVID-19, many supply chains and delivery operations are delayed. We know you’re excited for your new technology, and we appreciate your patience!

What if my order goes over the Technology Program amount?

If you choose to place an order that exceeds your allowable amount, you will enter your credit card information at checkout to pay the difference.

If I don't spend the full amount that is available to me, what happens to the rest of that money?

Each child care program may submit one (1) order through the Kaplan Early Learning Company portal ordering site. Any remaining funds for which the program was eligible that were not used in that order are forfeited at the time the order is placed. You will not be able to place a second order through the portal.

If you have funds remaining as you complete your order, you will have the option to select from several “small item” options to use those funds, such as a wireless mouse and batteries. (Note: There will be an item limit on these products.)
If you clicked submit in error before your order was complete, contact SFTA staff immediately at microgrants@supportingfamiliestogether.org or call 608-443-4310.

If you are not sure which of the available products could most benefit your program, contact your local CCR&R or YoungStar Quality Coach. They will be happy to make suggestions and discuss creative uses for this technology to support your child care program.

Can I receive money instead of ordering items?

No, these funds can only be used to purchase select items through Kaplan Early Learning Company. This program is funded through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), which limits the way the funds can be used.

If you are not sure which of the available products could most benefit your program, contact your local CCR&R or YoungStar Quality Coach. They will be happy to make suggestions and discuss creative uses for this technology to support your child care program.

Can I use these funds to purchase items from other vendors or stores?

No, these funds can only be used to purchase select items through Kaplan Early Learning Company. This program is funded through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), which limits the way the funds can be used.

If you are not sure which of the available products could most benefit your program, contact your local CCR&R or YoungStar Quality Coach. They will be happy to make suggestions and discuss creative uses for this technology to support your child care program.

I recently bought a new laptop or other technology item. Can I use these funds to get reimbursed for that?

No, these funds can only be used to purchase select items through Kaplan Early Learning Company. This program is funded through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), which limits the way the funds can be used.

If you are not sure which of the available products could most benefit your program, contact your local CCR&R or YoungStar Quality Coach. They will be happy to make suggestions and discuss creative uses for this technology to support your child care program.

What if an item arrives damaged or doesn't work?

In the event you receive a damaged or defective item, you may request an exchange. Requests for exchange should be directed to Kaplan customer service (1-800-334-2014) and must be made within 30 days of receipt of the damaged or defective item. Kaplan will exchange a damaged or defective item only with a replacement of the same product. No returns or refunds will be processed. 

Where can I receive support to learn how to set up or use my items?

Kaplan Early Learning Company has a representative ready to provide technical support for each of the available products. Contact:
Michelle Marshall
Educational Technology Specialist, Kaplan Early Learning Company
mmarshall@kaplanco.com
Phone: 336-712-3229
*Please note: Kaplan representatives can only provide product details. They are not able to answer questions about the Technology Access Program.

About this Program

Do I have to participate in YoungStar to be eligible for the Technology Access Program?

Any regulated Wisconsin child care program is eligible to place an order, regardless of YoungStar participation.

However, YoungStar Quality Coaches are prepared to help their programs decide which items they want to purchase with their funds to support the programs’ goals and quality. Please do not hesitate to contact your Quality Coach for assistance!

If your program does not participate in YoungStar, you are encouraged to contact your CCR&R for this assistance.

Where are these funds coming from?

The funds for this program were allocated to Wisconsin by the federal government through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Act (CRRSA) of 2021, a part of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program. The purpose of CRRSA funds are to supplement existing state funding for COVID-19 response, and the purpose of CCDF is to increase the quality, availability and affordability of child care while also promoting coordination among early childhood development and afterschool programs.

This Technology Access Program is being offered by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families and administered by Supporting Families Together Association.

Why is this funding going toward child care technology?

Throughout the pandemic, access to technology has been a significant barrier for Wisconsin’s early care workforce. As trainings, meetings, schooling, YoungStar consultations, and countless other aspects of life have moved online, many child care programs around the state have struggled to access or afford the technology they need to adapt their businesses to this “new normal.” The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families is pleased to have the opportunity to utilize the federal CRRSA funding to support the technology needs of child care providers as both business owners and teachers.

Why can't I order items for the children in my care to use?

The Technology Access Program is supporting quality, access, and affordability in Wisconsin’s child care programs by supplying the child care workforce with technology to continue their professional development and grow their businesses. All children benefit when their child care providers have the tools they need to access virtual trainings, resources, and supports, plan lessons, and connect online with local parents. We know that as child care providers you always put the children first – this is an opportunity to receive the technology tools you need to continue growing as both a business owner and teacher.

The funds for this program were allocated to Wisconsin by the federal government through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Act (CRRSA) of 2021, a part of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program. The purpose of CRRSA funds are to supplement existing state funding for COVID-19 response, and the purpose of CCDF is to increase the quality, availability and affordability of child care while also promoting coordination among early childhood and afterschool programs.

How will the way I use these items be verified?

SFTA will conduct a rigorous verification process on each order before it is approved. All participating programs must read and accept the terms and conditions the Technology Access Program as outlined by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families before submitting their order. This includes an acknowledgement that providing false information about the use of these items may result in technology or funds being recouped, and an agreement to comply with any future audits around this funding.

Each program is encouraged to select the technology items that will be most beneficial to the growth of their business, teaching practices, and child care staff.

Do I need to declare this on my taxes?

SFTA, CCR&Rs, and DCF are not tax professionals and cannot advise individuals or businesses how to report on their taxes. We recommend you contact your program’s tax professional or the IRS with any questions or concerns.
 

Terms and Conditions

In order to submit your application, you must acknowledge and agree to the Terms and Conditions of the Technology Access Program. Your electronic application will display this document.

 

Need Help?

If you need help or have questions about the Technology Access Program, please email DCFDECECOVID19CCPayments@wisconsin.gov. If you are unable to email, you may call and leave a detailed message at 608-535-3650.

PLEASE NOTE: Email is recommended for a faster response.

When contacting the call center, please include your name, facility name, provider number, and detailed question.