NEW MARKET – Town Council members have agreed to administer a grant that will provide funding for 4-year-olds to attend a new daycare center.

Yvonne Frazier, chairman of the Board of Directors for the nonprofit facility, asked the town to consider partnering with her and her team in February, but council members did not officially do so until Tuesday night’s meeting.

The mixed-delivery grant from the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation will provide $250,000 over two years for the center to pay for up to two-thirds of the tuition for 4-year-old students in need; provide funding for a teacher and give the fiscal agent — in this case the town — $10,000 a year to help administer the grant.

Frazier told council members this was a chance for them to take action on something they have been saying the town wants to do without having to invest a large amount of time or resources. Frazier said she suspects the added time of sending invoices to the grant provider will be around four hours a month.

“The role as the fiscal agent would give the town the opportunity to really be showing a concrete partnership and connection to trying to bring child care to the community,” Frazier said. “That is certainly what the town and Planning Commission has talked about.”

The nonprofit center needs a partner to facilitate the grant because it has not been established long enough, Frazier said. Normally, she works with school districts with these types of grants. While that was an option, Frazier said she thought partnering with the town would strengthen their application.

“The strongest part of this grant is innovation and new partnerships,” Frazier told council members. “There is not another one in the state that would have a municipality as a partner or a fiscal agent. That’s really the biggest draw. We think it will make the application a lot stronger to have that kind of a partnership.”

Councilwoman Peggy Harkness said she had some concerns about the invoicing process. Although the grant would provide the town with some extra funds, she said, the town staff is already stretched thin at times.

Frazier said the invoices would be straightforward and mostly supplied to the town for them to copy. The forms the center uses, she said, are nearly identical to the forms the town will fill out and submit to the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation for reimbursement.

Council members unanimously agreed to partner with the day care center.

– Contact Max Thornberry at mthornberry@nvdaily.com