United for Early Care and Education Opens Phase 4 of Support


United for Early Care and Education Opens Phase 4 of Support For Child Care Providers Receiving Second Draw PPP Loans

United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) Friday will launch phase four of its early care and education (ECE) provider assistance program, United for Early Care and Education, inviting licensed child care providers to apply for free technical and legal support rolled out in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning with a focus on the Second Draw Payroll Protection Program (PPP2).

United for ECE – in partnership with Loyola University New Orleans College of Law – also offers providers access to free legal assistance, alerts about grant opportunities for small business owners, and resources to comply with federal grant and loan programs.

“United for ECE has supported our center in a major way,” said Lekenja Smothers, Preschool Learning Center director. “Because of the many changes surrounding the PPP program, it became really stressful and overwhelming along with concerns over COVID-19. [United for ECE] helped us cope during the pandemic by providing assistance to our center with the PPP loan and more.”

The application for PPP2 assistance is open Friday, April 30, to Friday, May 14, 2021. Providers may apply online at UnitedWaySELA.org/United-ECE-Application. Interested applicants are invited to join (click here) an online orientation this Friday, April 30, at 10 a.m. to learn more about the program and its benefits.

Early care and education providers must:

  • Be based in UWSELA’s service area, including Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes; 
  • Have a quality rating score of Approaching Proficient or better as a Type III Center;
  • Receive public funds to serve low-income children; and 
  • Want help in maintaining or obtaining loans and/or grants designed to help businesses adversely impacted by COVID-19.

United for ECE is designed to prioritize centers that are in need of legal assistance and at risk of losing loan forgiveness. Priority will be given to centers that have received PPP loans.

First Draw Paycheck Protection Program Success

United for ECE welcomed 75 providers through three phases of First Draw PPP support and is currently managing over $3.6 million in forgivable loan funds. 

Nearly every center in the program faced some form of temporary closure since the beginning of the pandemic, ranging from a few days to several months. United for ECE helped achieved 100% forgiveness for the centers receiving First Draw PPP loans, preserving the centers’ jobs and providing care to working families.

“United for ECE helped me understand some things about the different types of grants available to me…and answer any questions I had, and I had many,” said Cynthia Webb, Webb's Guardian Angel Child Care director. “I am glad to know that the program will be there for me to help me complete my application for loan forgiveness.”

Please contact UnitedForECE@UnitedWaySELA.org for more information.



About United Way of Southeast Louisiana

For 95 years, United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) has been a leader and trusted partner in improving lives and making a lasting difference. We fight to eradicate poverty by preparing people for quality jobs, growing incomes, and affording better health and education opportunities throughout Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes. We have a bold vision of equitable communities where all individuals are healthy, educated, and financially stable – and we have a plan. United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Blueprint for Prosperity guides all strategic investments in programs, initiatives, collaborations, volunteerism, and advocacy aimed at tackling poverty. For more information, please visit UnitedWaySELA.org. Find us on social: @UnitedWaySELA.