The Colorado Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant

The Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) recently announced a new grant funding opportunity for family child care homes in Colorado! The Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant will accept applications starting February 12, 2024, and ending April 22, 2024

Eligible applicants can request up to $5,000 in funding to spend on facility improvements, start-up costs, furnishings, and materials that help family child care home providers maintain, increase, and/or open new programs in the state. 

When any grant funding opportunity becomes available, questions always follow. How do you apply for funding? What can you purchase with your grant dollars? How long will you have to spend your funding? How do you know if you are eligible to receive funding in the first place?

As a leading brand in the early childhood space over the past 50 years, Kaplan understands the impact grant funding can have on early childhood professionals and the children, families, and communities they serve. We are here to answer your most pressing questions and guide you through securing this new funding opportunity. 

Read through this article for more information about how to apply for the Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant, how much funding is available to you, and how to get the most out of your grant dollars as you make improvements to your facility and the care you provide children and families in Colorado. 

An infant sits on a carpeted play area in a home-based child care facility, he is looking down at a wooden train in his left hand.
What is the Colorado Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant?

For several years, Colorado has seen a steady decrease in licensed family child care homes operating within the state. For the children and families who rely on these safe, nurturing environments for child care, this poses a significant problem. 

To increase the number of licensed slots within family child care homes and improve the quality of home-based learning environments, the Buell Foundation, along with the Daniels Fund, will give funds to the ECCLA through the Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant. Applications for this funding opportunity open on February 12, 2024, and will close on April 22, 2024. 

With this grant, early childhood professionals in Colorado will be able to:

  • Make improvements to their home facility that will expand their licensing capacity 
  • Provide a better quality of care and education for children ages birth to five years old
  • Open new facilities that address child care gaps throughout the state

Am I eligible for funding through the Colorado Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant?

You are eligible for this grant funding opportunity if you operate a Colorado licensed home-based child care program and serve children ages birth to five years old. If you are opening a new family child care business and want to apply for this grant, you will be eligible if you are in the pre-licensing stage or have completed pre-licensing.

How much grant funding is available?

The maximum amount of funding you can request with the Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant is $5,000. Applicants requesting $2,500 or more must own the home child care facility they operate or have written support from their landlord. If you own your home, you do not need to submit any documentation before receiving your funds.

An early childhood teacher sits at a blue table, there are three young children at the table. The teacher and children are stacking cups and wooden blocks.

What can I purchase with the Colorado Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant?

You can spend your grant dollars on projects, items, and furnishings that improve your capacity to serve young children in your home-based facility. This includes the following: 

  • Home improvements related to licensing, health and safety issues, and to expand a program to increase capacity
  • Opening a new licensed family child care home facility
  • Updating the HVAC, heating, or flooring in your home-based facility
You can also use the Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant to purchase furniture, fixtures, and equipment to improve the quality of care you provide for children ages birth to five years old. This can include:

  • Adding shade structures to your outdoor play areas
  • Cribs that provide safe sleeping options in your infant and toddler classrooms
  • Changing tables and other furnishings that provide a safe, hygienic area for diapering and storage
  • Storage bins and baskets that keep your learning spaces organized and clutter-free
  • Educational materials that support age-appropriate child development and create enriching educational experiences for the children in your care

You cannot use your grant funding to reimburse past projects or cover the cost of current debt, salaries, and/or consultant fees. If you are currently working on a project and need more funds to complete it, you may still be eligible to receive this grant. 

Contact a Colorado Territory Representative if you need help ordering items that meet the Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant guidelines. They will happily provide you with a custom quote that meets your facility's specifications.

When will I receive grant funding, and how long will I have to spend it?

After submitting your grant application for review, someone from the ECCLA will send you an email confirming the status of your application. You should expect this email to arrive within 4-6 weeks after the grant application period ends. 

Once your grant application is approved and you receive funding, you will have twelve months to complete your project. After you complete your grant-funded projects, you must submit a final report, receipts, and photos documenting the changes you made to your home-based program.

How do I apply for the Colorado Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant?

Applications for the Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant are now open. You have until April 22, 2024, to submit your grant application. You can submit your application through the ECCLA online form. The ECCLA will not accept mail, email, or fax submissions. 

You will also need to include the following documents with your grant application: 

  • A copy of your current and legible child care license issued by the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Early Childhood. If you are going through the pre-licensing process, you will only need to submit a copy of your pre-licensing paperwork
  • At least three "before photos" documenting the project before work ensues
  • If you rent your home-based facility and want to request more than $2500, you will need to include a letter of support from your landlord
  • At least two project bids or pictures and information regarding what you wish to purchase

Where can I shop for eligible items and materials?

Now that you have a better understanding of the Colorado Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant, it is time to start thinking about the projects and materials you will need for your grant-funded projects.

A Colorado Territory Representative can help you with this process. They are highly knowledgeable about the grant application process and materials this funding opportunity covers. They will be happy to help you select the best options for your home-based facility's needs.

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