How Do I Get a Grant to Open My Own Daycare?

woman pushing her child on a toy tractor image by L. Shat from

Starting a daycare business can be both an enjoyable and scary adventure. Funding a new daycare can be financially stressful; however, there are grants available for this much-needed community resource.

First Steps to Acquiring a Grant

Before you go to the bank to inquire about a loan to start your daycare business, look for grants. The best place to look is at your local Child and Family Services Office. It may have access to funding to help you get started as well as access to grant programs that you may apply for. In addition, it will also be a great asset, as many of the children who attend your daycare may be referred by it.

Also look to local business. Many local businesses will contribute money toward the development of a daycare center. Such businesses include, but are not limited to, family owned restaurants, department stores and gyms. The size of the city does not play an important role in asking businesses for donations.

Applying for a Grant

Many grant applications are fairly self-explanatory, but you should still read them carefully. There are grants available for daycare businesses that work with specific groups of children such as special needs children; however, it is not a requirement for many daycare business grants. First and most important, your daycare must have a name and federal tax identification number. Second, you need a business license stating that you own and will be operating a daycare center. Without this information, the application may not get a second glance.

Writing the Grant Proposal

Most grant applications also ask for a grant proposal. This is where you "sell" the business to the grant approval board. Say what the purpose of the daycare will be and the population it will serve. Explain, with facts, how the daycare will provide a positive impact on the community where it will be located. Include in this the planned opening date of the daycare as well as the estimated amount of time that it will take for the daycare to be financially able to sustain itself. Finally, be able to list what the grant will be specifically used for. The more upfront with the financial and material needs of the business, the better the chances of being awarded the grant.