If you are looking for a fulfilling and rewarding business opportunity, consider opening a daycare center. As with any business, starting a daycare center requires an initial investment. Expect to pay for business permits, insurance, advertising, and children's accessories. Fortunately, you don't have to let the small investment stop you from becoming an entrepreneur. Grants are available to help you with the costs involved in starting a daycare center. You just need to know how to find the grant money.

Step 1.

Determine your profit or nonprofit status. Nonprofit daycare centers have significantly more grant opportunities than for-profit centers.

Step 2.

Call appropriate state organizations. You should begin by contacting your licensing bureau office, referral agency, and child care organizations. They will be able to advise of funding opportunities in your state.

Step 3.

Contact agencies affiliated with childcare, such as Head Start; Child Care and Development Fund; Social Services Block Grant; Child and Adult Care Food Program; Even Start; and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. These organizations are likely to offer grants if funding is available. You should also try the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The department offers funding programs to support child care services. The Child Care Bureau has multiple funding programs for child care facilities.

Step 4.

Request guidelines and applications. After contacting an agency, request information on the application process. You may need to write a grant proposal letter. The agency will review your application and other required documents to make sure you fit the criteria.

Step 5.

Explore other funding options. If you are not having any luck obtaining a grant from a federal or state agency, try local businesses. Explain your intentions. Ask for any type of donations. You may be able to collect the basic supplies needed to open the daycare center. Also try the U.S. General Services Administration. It distributes surplus federal personal property, such as computers, to qualified daycare centers.