The Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) of Connecticut recently announced a new grant opportunity for early childhood programs in the state! The Early Child Care Facilities and Renovation and Construction Grant will accept applications starting November 6, 2023 and ending December 4, 2023.
Eligible applicants can receive anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000 in grant funding to spend on projects, furnishings, and materials needed to provide more quality early childhood facilities for families and children in Connecticut.
If you currently operate or plan to open a child care facility in Connecticut, you probably have an overwhelming number of questions regarding this grant opportunity. How do you apply for funding? What can you purchase with your grant dollars? How long will you have to spend your funding?
As a leader in the early childhood space for the past 50 years, Kaplan understands the importance of grant funding opportunities for early childhood professionals and the children, families, and communities they serve. This article will help you understand how to apply for the Early Child Care Facilities and Renovation and Construction Grant, how much funding is available, and how to spend your grant dollars to better serve your community’s infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
What is the Connecticut Early Child Care Facilities and Renovation and Construction Grant?Beginning November 6, 2023, Connecticut will open applications for the Early Child Care Facilities and Renovation and Construction Grant. This grant will distribute approximately $13 Million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to increase the quality and quantity of early childhood facilities in child care deserts, especially those areas involving infant and toddler care.
Child care deserts arise when more children live in an area than there are available child care options. At this time, the state of Connecticut estimates that 40,000 infants and toddlers do not have “slots” within the early childhood education system. With this grant opportunity, early childhood professionals in the state will be able to:
- Increase the capacity of infant and toddler programs so they can serve more families
- Increase the capacity of preschool programs so they can serve more families
- Improve facilities so they can better meet the health and safety needs of young children
Am I eligible to receive funding through the Connecticut Early Child Care Facilities and Renovation and Construction Grant?
You are eligible to receive grant funding if you are a licensed child care provider in Connecticut that is currently operating a facility or has made a plan to open a new facility. This includes non-profits, for-profits, center-based facilities, family home child care, group home child care, and family child care incubator programs. You are not eligible for this grant if you operate a Licensed Exempt program in the public school setting.
How much grant funding is available?
The amount of funding available to you depends on the type of project you wish to complete and the type of child care facility you operate. Please note that you may not receive the total amount of funding you request when applying for this grant. If your proposed project significantly impacts your community and requires more than the $500,000 funding cap, the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) Commissioner will review your application for approval.
Funding options for center-based programs
- Establishing a new site: $50,000 - $500,000
- Renovating or expanding an existing site: $50,000 - $500,000
- Purchasing furniture, fixtures, and equipment for your center: cap of $50,000 per provider location
Funding options for group homes and family homes
- Expanding or establishing a new site for small group homes: $25,000 - $75,000
- Establishing a new site for a family child care home: $25,000 - $50,000
- Expanding or making quality health and safety improvements to family child care homes: $5,000 - $25,000
- Purchasing furniture, fixtures, and equipment for group homes or family child care homes: cap of $25,000 per provider location
What can I purchase with the Connecticut Early Child Care Facilities and Renovation and Construction Grant?You can spend your grant dollars on projects, items, and materials that improve your capacity to serve infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in Connecticut. This includes:
- Constructing a new facility
- Expanding or renovating an existing child care facility
- Making renovations to an existing structure for the purpose of converting it into a child care facility
- Funding the rehabilitation efforts for a facility that currently has a strong standing with the CT licensing department and is in danger of closing
- Making enhancements to the overall health and safety of your facility, such as upgrading plumbing, installing air conditioning, or enhancing outdoor spaces
- Any projects that will help your facility meet licensing requirements and alleviate compliance issues
- Cribs that provide safe sleeping options in your infant and toddler classrooms
- Lockers and cubbies that provide additional space to organize and store personal belongings
- Classroom tables and chairs that offer areas for teacher-led activities and open-ended play
- Outdoor play equipment that enhances your outdoor learning environments
Contact our Connecticut Territory Rep if you need help ordering items that meet the guidelines of the Early Child Care Facilities and Renovation and Construction Grant. We are happy to help with a custom quote that meets your specifications.
When will I receive grant funding, and how long will I have to spend it?
Beginning December 5th, LISC personnel will review all applications and give final approval to top applicants. It is unclear how long the final approval process will last, but all grantees will receive instructions from the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) regarding the next steps to secure funding. You must spend all of your grant funding by December 30, 2024. That means you will only have a short window of time to complete your projects.
How do I apply for the Connecticut Early Child Care Facilities and Renovation and Construction Grant?
Applications for the CT Early Child Care Facilities and Renovation and Construction Grant will open for applications on November 6, 2023. You will have until December 4, 2023 to submit your application. The application process and a list of financial documents you will need to submit with your application are available on the LISC website. Take some time to review those steps and gather what you need before the application opening date of November 6th.
Where can I shop for eligible items and materials?
Now that you know the ins and outs of the CT Early Child Care Facilities and Renovation and Construction Grant, it is time to start thinking about the materials and items you will need to complete your grant-funded projects.
Our Connecticut Territory Rep will be happy to assist you with this process. They are extremely knowledgeable about the grant application process and materials covered with this funding opportunity and can help you select the best options for your specific project needs.