DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Starting Monday morning, child care directors in North Carolina can apply for new federal grants intended to help child care centers bounce back after struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced that the state would receive $805 million in stimulus money to pay for child care stabilization grants, which could be used with anything from improving teacher salaries to making physical improvements.

Child care centers can choose to invest in mental health.

“Think about the number of children that have lost relatives, caregivers, and so, we’re also dealing with grief with families that have had other adversities… housing insecurity, food insecurity, all of that impacts children’s mental health,” said Dr. Robin Gurwitch, s Duke professor of psychiatry and behavioral health.

When considering how to invest in mental health, Gurwitch recommends mental health assessments to see where each child stands and investing in tools to help teachers lookout for both children and themselves.

“What they can do, what they can say, how they can help support — but teachers are also grieving too. How do we give them ideas for that?” Gurwitch said.

The link to apply goes active at 9 a.m. Monday on the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.