HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Childcare workers will receive an extra $1,700 from the state — a bonus that employees said will go a long way.

“The wages are something you can bring home, but it’s not sustainable for one person,” said Alexandria Simpson, a teacher at a preschool and child care center in Bloomfield. “You would definitely need to be in a two-person or two-income family.”

The bonuses are part of an effort to retain and support the critical workforce, with a second round of funds expected soon.

More than 20,000 workers will receive the $1,700 bonus, which is part of a $55 million state grant.

Early childcare educators told News 8 that money will go a long way.

Alexandria Simpson is a teacher at Bloomfield’s Preschool and Childcare Center. It’s a job she loves that brings her big satisfaction but not a big paycheck.

“I’ve always had a passion for children. I’ve always been someone that people go to provide care for children,” Alexandria said.

The wages are something you can bring home – but it’s not sustainable for one person. You would definitely need to be in a two-person or two-income family.

“No childhood educator chooses this field for the money. We choose this field because it’s our passion to love, to educate and to care for young children,” said Jessica Salvador, an early childhood educator.

The state is trying to retain and support this critical workforce with the Office of Early Childhood announcing a second round of bonuses for childcare workers coming soon.

The first round of bonuses were handed out earlier this year.

“These are essential workers, helping out other essential workers in giving kids the very best opportunity in life,” Gov. Ned Lamont said.

Meanwhile, teachers like Alexandria told News 8 the money is a way to keep their heads above water with the rising costs of everything.

“Just the other week, the cost of eggs were $4.29 and my daughter eats eggs every day! So just being able to offset the cost of your everyday life,” Alexandria said.

The extra funds will also help Alexandria and others to further their education and certification requirements to achieve success in their field.

“I hope that we can continue to get access to grants like this and other types of funding to help support the wages here because we work really hard with these children to provide care, love and affection,” Alexandria said.