(WTNH) – Childcare workers in Connecticut are now eligible for appreciation bonus payments. Governor Ned Lamont announced on Thursday that his administration is releasing $70 million in state funding for the payments.

Childcare providers in Connecticut who provide safe and nurturing care to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are eligible for the payment. Individual bonuses will amount to $1,000 for full-time workers and $400 for part-time workers.

“Child care staff work consistently to provide critically needed care to ensure that children are safe and their parents and guardians have the support necessary to go to work,” Governor Lamont said. “They are an essential part of our economy and help make Connecticut the most family-friendly state in the country. We need to support this important industry that is vital to families, the workplace, and society.”

Childcare program operators will be required to apply for the funds and then disburse the payments to their childcare staff. The operators of the programs will also receive funding of 10% on top of their staff payments.

Eligible members are those who work in licensed centers, group child care homes, and family child care homes, as well as license-exempt programs that receive school readiness or child day care contract funds.