While the demand for home daycare grants is very high, the amount of money allocated in the U.S. for this business venture is limited and tough to secure. There are a few home daycare grants available and with the proper research and information, you may find an opportunity that allows you to receive one or more of these grants. Other financial support is available as well through grants and government funding.
If you've gotten to the point where you are beginning to research your funding options for opening and running a home daycare then you likely have the bulk of your business planned out. Before you even begin applying for grants or other funding options, make sure you have written out what you want to accomplish with your home daycare. The application process for home daycare grants is intense and specific so funders will want to know details such as who will be running the business, how many children do you intend to take in, what kind of setting will the daycare be taking place in, who will help you, what does a day to day schedule look like for the children attending the daycare, and what ultimately are you looking to accomplish with your business? Also, before you get into the requirements for each grant you want to apply for make sure you've taken a look at a home daycare, or another type of application for a grant. Make sure you're familiar with what funders are looking for within an application, and make sure you know how to properly fill one out. One simple mistake or overlooking something important can cost you funding if you aren't prepared. Grants.gov has some great information on filling out grant applications and gives you samples of what to expect. Also, keep in mind not all home daycare grants will have that specific title. There isn't funding available for people simply looking to open their own daycare. Grants are listed for more specific purposes that in the end will help you succeed as a whole.
Current Home Daycare Grants
The Healthy Indoor Environments Grant This grant provides somewhere between $5,000 and $50,000 for surveys, studies, and investigations and special activities pertaining to the Clean Air Act and is funded by the EPA. This funding allows for training regarding air quality, smoking in the area and it's effects, air triggers for children who may suffer from allergies or asthma, how to deal with these children, how to prevent emergency situations from occurring, etc. In total, this grant is usually awarded to 5 recipients per year. You can apply for this grant on the website Grants.gov.
Immunization Information Systems Capacity Building All children who attend your home daycare should be immunized and you'll need to maintain those records for your own use and protection. This grant provides $740,000 total per year to however many recipients it decideds upon. It is funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The basis for this grant is intended to provide education and training for maintaining immunization and health records for all children enrolled in your program. You can apply for this grant on Grants.gov.
Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Career and Technical Institutions Program This grant is marketed towards Native American controlled institutions. The eligibility requirements may be a bit more strict for this grant, but this can also increase your chances for securing funding. Approximately $7,366,000 in total is awarded for this grant and can be used for less specific purposes in your home daycare. The funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Education. You can find more information on this grant and apply by visiting Grants.gov.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has funding opportunities for home daycare food and snacks that are served to the children daily. A program called Afterschool Snacks (as part of the National School Lunch Program) provides cash reimbursements to eligible programs for the food they provide to help promote good health.
Look your State's local government page to find out what is available in your area. Many states provide funding at different levels for reimbursements of daycare meals. Each state has different requirements for applying.
The application process for home daycare grants has become easier in the recent past as it is now done electronically. It saves the amount of paperwork you're dealing with, you have an online record of what you've entered, and many of the online applications actually run an error check for you. The process can be lengthy however as each applicant goes through steps that validates their credentials, confirms authenticity, and makes sure the application and information included is secure and safe in the database. Timing really varies regarding after the post date how long you have to apply, and after that, how long it takes for a decision to be made. Usually you can find this information within the announcement for the grant.
There are always other funding opportunities that are worth looking into for those who can't find enough assistance with home daycare grants. Bank loans are always a great option. It's wise to shop around and look for the best interest rates or special promotions. You may want to turn to other businesses in your area for some financial assistance. Explain to them what you are looking to accomplish and see if they like your proposal. If you have your daycare business planned out properly people you know might be impressed and decide to sponsor you with your idea. As an incentive you could always offer their employees a discount on your services.
Also, look into local groups in your area like the local chapter of the Lions Club or Rotary. Charitable organizations in your city or town often make one time or ongoing contributions for ideas like this.
Where to Go
There are websites available that can be a great for your home daycare grant research.
The Foundation Center (http://foundationncenter.org) has information for both profit minded and non-profit business owners, searches for specific funders, proposal writing techniques and so on. The Grantsmanship Center (www.tgci.com) is a great site that has a list of the top grant foundations in each state, links to your local government sites and training on properly composing grant proposals. A Canadian site called the Foundation Center (www.foundationcenter.org) has a list of the similar information but relevant to Canada grants. Childcare.net has a special form you can use that makes it quite easy for you to outline everything you'll need to include for the application process. Grants.gov
Amy Rozanski-Harlach started freelance writing in 2001 and has been published in a variety of publications including "The Hamburg Sun," "The Bee News," "Lodging Magazine" and many others. Rozanski-Harlach has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Buffalo State College