A new grant funding opportunity is now available for Ohio infant and toddler care programs! Kara Wente, the director of The Ohio Department of Children and Youth, announced a new $15 million funding opportunity that will allow currently licensed centers to expand their programs and create greater access to early childhood education for families in Ohio.
If your program is eligible for the Ohio Infant and Toddler Infrastructure Grant, you could receive anywhere from $5,000 to $250,000 to spend on reopening an infant/toddler classroom, improving your facility, classroom supplies, and more. The amount you receive will depend on the type of program you operate, your licensing criteria, and your program’s capacity.
Are you interested in applying for the Ohio Infant and Toddler Infrastructure Grant? If so, you may be wondering if your program is eligible to receive this funding opportunity. You may also wonder what approved items you can purchase with your grant dollars and how long the application process will take.
With decades of experience in early childhood education, we at Kaplan understand that questions like this are common. We want to help you find answers to these questions so that you can access grant funding that allows you to provide top-notch educational experiences to infants and toddlers in Ohio.
Continue reading to learn more about the Ohio Infant and Toddler Infrastructure Grant and how you can use your grant dollars to improve your early childhood program.
What is the Ohio Infant and Toddler Infrastructure Grant Program?
Child care programs continue to struggle to maintain an adequate workforce, resulting in the closure of numerous infant and toddler classrooms. The Ohio Department of Children and Youth hopes to provide financial relief to help child care programs offset the higher costs of serving this age group.
The Ohio Infant and Toddler Infrastructure Grant will help programs in Ohio increase their workforce, improve their facilities, enhance classroom materials, and bring new infant and toddler care centers to communities and families in the state.
What types of programs are eligible to receive the Ohio Infant and Toddler Infrastructure Grant?The Ohio Infant and Toddler Infrastructure Grant provides funding to eligible Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) licensed non-profit or for-profit child care centers, family child care homes (FCC), and Ohio Department of Education (ODE) licensed preschools. Preschool special education programs are not eligible to apply.
To qualify for this grant funding opportunity, your program must:
- Be licensed and in good standing (not in the revocation process)
- Have an active provider agreement to offer or deliver publicly funded child care (PFCC)
- Operate in an Ohio Equity Initiative community within the following counties: Butler, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Montgomery, Stark, and Summit
- Serve or intend to serve infants and toddlers during the life of the grant without displacing children from other age groups. In regards to this grant, an infant is a child who is under eighteen months of age. A toddler is a child who is at least eighteen months of age but less than three years old.
How much funding could I receive with the Ohio Infant and Toddler Infrastructure Grant?
The amount of funding you receive depends on the type of program you operate, your program’s capacity, and the following criteria:
ODJFS licensed Child Care Center and ODE Preschool
Up to $250,000
ODJFS licensed Child Care Center and ODE Preschool
Up to $100,000
ODJFS licensed Type A and Type B FCC Home
Up to $5,000
What can I purchase with the Ohio Infant and Toddler Infrastructure Grant?There are no restrictions to what you can purchase with this grant funding. You can use it for workforce support, facility improvements, and classroom supplies. This can include:
- Converting a closed classroom into an operational infant/toddler classroom
- Opening a new child care center that will serve infants and toddlers
- Professional learning solutions that can improve the care your teachers and staff provide for infants and toddlers in your program
- Infant and toddler curriculum options and support kits that enhance the growth and development of children in your classrooms
- Changing supplies for your classroom diapering area that promote proper hygiene and sanitation
- Sleeping accessories such as cribs and cots that provide a restful escape for infants and toddlers in the classroom
- Classroom furnishings that encourage exploration and enhance infant and toddler development
You can use the Ohio Infant and Toddler Infrastructure Grant in many ways to support the children in your care. For help choosing furnishings and other materials that meet your program’s needs, please reach out to an Ohio Territory Rep. They will be happy to help you get the most out of this grant funding opportunity.
How do I apply for the Ohio Infant and Toddler Infrastructure Grant?
Applications are now open for the Ohio Infant and Toddler Infrastructure Grant! To apply, submit information about your program through this application form. The deadline for applications is Friday, January 5th.
When will I receive my payment, and how long will I have to spend it?
You will receive the status of your application by January 31, 2024.
Child care centers and ODE preschool grantees will receive half of their funding once their application is approved. These programs can request the second half of the total payment after enrolling and serving at least four new infants or toddlers within 120 days of their application approval. One of the four new infants or toddlers must receive publicly funded child care (PFCC).
Family child care grantees will receive half of their funding once their application is approved. Providers can request the second half of the total payment after enrolling and serving at least one new infant or toddler receiving PFCC within 120 days of the application approval.
Will I need to report my spending once I receive and use my grant funding?Yes, you must report your spending through quarterly and annual reports. Your program’s award letter will outline more details about how to record and send those reports accurately. You can expect to report on the following information:
- The number of children in your program, including their age and if they are participating in PFCC or private pay
- Staff by role
- How you spent your funding each month
- Best practices and any lessons learned
Where can I shop for eligible items and materials?
Once you apply for and receive the Ohio Infant and Toddler Infrastructure Grant, you will want to start choosing furnishings, materials, and other items to enhance the quality of care you provide for infants and toddlers in your community. Kaplan is here to make this process easier for you.
Our Ohio Territory Reps are up-to-date on all information regarding the Ohio Infant and Toddler Infrastructure Grant. They will be happy to help you choose the best items for your classrooms and facility. When you are ready to spend your grant funding or have questions about applying for this opportunity, click here to connect with an Ohio Territory Rep.