Daycare Grants & Where to Find Them

By Catherine M. Pruissen

Child care grants are essential to funding a quality program. To assist our visitors, child care online has done extensive research into the question of "Where to find grants for child care programs" and brings you this feature article.

For-Profit Child Care - The Straight Facts First

While there is a lot of talk about "how to find grants" in the child care field, most caregivers, especially independent home child care operators or persons starting a private or for-profit child care facility, don't realize that it is almost impossible for them to find grant money from any level of government or from almost all of the sources listed in's or any other grant list. That is of course, with the exception of perhaps that which might be obtained from new business startup programs and the odd program operated by their provincial or state governments, generally under the Department of Children and Family Services.

The truth is, and it seems no one else wants to acknowledge this fact, unless you seek and obtain non-profit status, there is not a lot of help available in the way of grants for your child care business.

For-profit child care business operators, large and small, may, that's a small may because they aren't all that many programs available with the exception of the Child and Adult Care Food Program in the U.S., be able to apply for local state/provincial programs being offered through their licensing office, Children's and Family Services Office, and/or Child Care Resource and Referral Agency.'s advice for for-profit child care operators is to inquire at these locations first. Other than that, the best way to locate financing for your child care business is to:

* Look into bank loans
* Obtain venture capital
* Seek gifts and loans from family and friends
* Look for advice from incubator organizations, or
* Obtain counsel from local small business and women's associations.

In a few states, special loan programs have being developed to help child care programs access immediate funds at affordable rates, like Washington and Oregon's Cascadia Child Care Fund. Contact your local licensing office or Small Business Administration (SBA) for information about financing child care as a small business opportunity. There may also be special initiatives available through the SBA or through local women's organizations to help finance women-owned and -operated businesses as well.

In Canada, small business owners can learn about financing initiatives of all sorts on Industry Canada's Sources of Financing Web page.

Independent child care business owners can also try the Foundation Grants to Individuals OnLine, a service of The Foundation Center. For $9.95 per month (payable by credit card) the Foundation Center offers an online listings of Grants to Individuals in the U.S. To learn more, visit heir About Foundation Grants to Individuals online at:

Visit our Financing Child Care Sources page for more detailed information on financing resources for child care.

Finally, while we take no pleasure in telling it like it is, we believe our visitors need to know the truth and understand the facts about grants. If you are a for-profit child care operator and have been successful in securing funding for your program, please share your information with our visitors by sending us an email at: [email protected] so we can post the resource and help others.

Grant Resources for Non-Protit Child Care Businesses


Grants Available in Canada for Non-Profit Child Care

Most of the grants available in Canada are through the provincial governments. These generally included fee subsidy, salary enhancement or rent subsidy grants which vary from province to province, or in some cases, are not part of the province's subsidy structure for daycares. Operating/equipment grants tend to fall under federal jourisdiction. struggled to find any good sources of information regarding outside funding programs, though undoubtedly they do exist. We will update this story as we locate other sources. Please see our Child Care Registry page for provincial contacts where you live.

Canadian Foundations
Links to to the Home pages of Canadian foundations with grant programs.

Federal and Provincial Government Agencies
Links to to the Home pages of federal and provincial government agencies and departments.

Links to funding agencies across Canada
Highly valuable resource from University of Alberta's Research Grants Office. Provides links to to the home pages of foundations and agencies, organized by country.

Big One
Canadian Page on North America's most fact-filled, comprehensive and current source of fundraising information for non-profits and charities, with more than 7,500 available funding sources representing billions of dollars in annual funding.

Adobe's Community Relations Program goal is to positively impact, strengthen, and make our local communities better and healthier places in which to live, work, and do business.

Air Canada
The company considers requests for donations from organizations working to improve the lives of Canada's youth as well as those conducting research into diseases. In some cases they make cash donations, in many others they donate promotional tickets.

BC Hydro Employees' Community Services Fund (HYDRECS) HYDRECS is an employee-run committee that provides assistance to registered charities working in British Columbia in the areas of health and social services.

Clarica Life Insurance Company

The company Invests approximately one-third of corporate donations in programs that promote the best possible future for Canada's children and other programs.

Imperial Oil Charitable Foundation
Over half of the foundation's grants are in the field of education, some under the umbrella of their Esso Kids Program.

Microsoft Canada Kidreach
KidReach is a Microsoft Canada's national donation program that empowers young people by providing access to technology that they could not have otherwise. Primarily, KidReach assists non-profit and charitable organizations across Canada that work with young people by providing them with donations of software.

Royal Bank After School Care Program
The After-School Grants program is designed to channel support to organizations who serve primary and secondary school-aged youth. The bank also supports a number of other community-based programs.

Zellers Friends of the Family
Zellers Friends of the Family was developed to provide financial assistance and employee involvement to charities that support the health, well being and education of Canadian families.

Federal Funding for Child Care in the U.S.A.

Please note that the majority of funders listed below only work with non-profit organizations.

The Child Care and Development Fund helps States, Territories, and Federally recognized Tribes and Tribal Organizations provide child care for low-income families and increase the affordability and quality of child care and development services. For additional information, contact the office of the state Child Care Administrator.

Child and Adult Care Food Program

Funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), provides Federal funds for meals and snacks served to eligible children in child care centers and family child care homes.

The Children's Defense Fund's Head Start Program
Every child deserves the child care and early education - the "head start" - that they need to get a strong start in life, and to be safe and secure while their parents are at work.

School State Grant Opportunities
This page has opportunities that are available through your State Departments of Education or other State agencies. These opportunities will be federal flow-through funds or state-legislated programs.

USDA Office of Rural Development - low interest loans available for child care facilities

U.S. Department of Education
Through the Department of Education, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CLC) program provided $450 million to rural and inner-city public schools during FY 2000 to address the educational needs of communities during after-school hours, weekends and summers.

* A guide called What I Should Know About ED Grants? by the U.S. Department of Education that covers the discretionary grants process is available at:

The Foundation Centre
The Foundation Center is an independent national service organization established by foundations to provide information on foundation and corporate giving. You can access child care related funding foundations through the site's new "searchzone" by typing in "child care grants."

You might also want to check out The Foundation Centre's list of Web Site of Community Foundations which is broken down by state.

GrantsNet is a tool for finding and exchanging information about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and selected Federal grant programs. The Web site provides information on how to find grant information, search for funding, how to apply, useful resources, and administering grants.

eSchool News
A great site listing up-to-the-minute grant programs, funding sources, and technology funding information. Also offers information on grant proposal writing.

Grants Web
The Society of Research Administrators offers another source of funding for child care and educational related proijects.

National Endowment for the Humanities
The official website of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the largest funder of the Humanities in the U.S.; includes grant opportunities for K-12 & higher ed. teachers; reports, etc. A site not to be missed.

The National Education Association
Created by the National Education Association, The NEA Foundation empowers public education employees to innovate, take risks, and become agents for change to improve teaching and learning in our society.

Child Care Partnership Project
The Child Care Partnership Project was established through the Child Care Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to provide information and technical assistance to build and sustain partnerships that improve the quality, supply, and access to child care for working families. The work of The Child Care Partnership Project is carried out by The Finance Project, in collaboration with the Families and Work Institute and the National Governors' Association.

National Center for Community Education
Through the National Center for Community Education, information is available on the U.S. Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CLC) program and other initiatives to promote community education by providing leadership training to people who are interested in community schools, as well as leadership training to further the development and skills of those implementing community education. The Web site includes links to funding resources, other organizations and materials that may be useful to community organizations.

National Children's Facilities Network and Community Investment Collaborative for Kids CICK)
The National Children's Facilities Network is a coalition of nonprofit financial and technical assistance intermediaries involved in planning, developing, and financing facilities for low-income child care and Head Start programs.

Educational Renaissance Planners
Find, prepare, and win the grants your school can use.

The Chalkboard
The Chalkboard contains information on corporate education programs, curriculum materials, grants and scholarships, and services.

Scholastic Awards and Grants
From Scholastic, numerous award programs designed to inspire and reward excellence among students and educators, prestigious awards and grants.

Sponsored by the AT&T Learning Network, seeks to improve student achievement by providing training, grants, networking and resource sharing to teachers.

Grant-related Links
Numerous links maintained by the Santa Clara County Office of Education

Dow Chemical Company Grants
Supports many school districts/school boards and efforts in and around communities in which Dow is located.

IBM Philanthropy
Provides corporate giving at local, national, and international levels.

National Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program

Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
Gateway to the online world of philanthropy, charity, and the nonprofit sector.

Additional Resources for Non-Profit Child Care

The Pew Charitable Trusts
Their grants information page contains information on our six program areas and our Venture Fund, which supports independent projects that take an interdisciplinary approach to broad issues of significant interest or concern. This includes education and human resource service grants.

The Future of Children is a publication of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation that considers present funding and financing strategies for child care and examines possible new alternatives.
Visit the Children, Families, and Communities section of their site for more on where some of their their grant money goes.

There may be a number of potential funding sources to consider in your own community, including:

* Community service organizations, such as Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, and Junior League or college fraternities and sororities, may donate funds to projects, which help the community. Check your local telephone yellow pages under "Clubs" for these and other service organizations in your area. Also, you may wish to look into opportunities available through the United Way in your locality.

* County or city governments may have special funding initiatives for child care, as may local early childhood professional organizations or child care resource and referral agencies.

* If your program serves families from a core group of employers in your community, you may consider asking these companies, and any professional organizations associated with them, for assistance. In addition to monetary resources, you may wish to investigate possibilities for "in-kind" contributions from these same sources. Volunteer services, goods, materials, or equipment may be offered to assist program development or operation.

* The local Yellow Pages may list Fundraising Counselors and Organizations that can provide further technical assistance in your search for child care funding.

* In several localities, special loan programs are being developed to help child care programs access immediate funds at affordable rates. You may call the Small Business Administration (SBA) to learn about local contacts for information about financing child care as a small business opportunity. There may be special initiatives available through the SBA to help finance women-owned and -operated businesses as well.