Kentucky Daycare & Child Care Grants


Quality child care is known to increase the productivity, as well as develop, the workforce, and lowers government spending on public services. However, inadequate public policy and market inconsistencies result in a dysfunctional child care market, making the child care business financially unsustainable. To keep the child care business above water, operators will need additional funding to break the barrier to financial viability. Additional funding, however, is difficult to find in the present economic landscape as bank loans are very difficult to obtain.

A better alternative to a bank loan is to look for grants that are given by many organizations, both government and private. While a single grant may not be enough to start a child care business, it is possible for a child care center to obtain multiple grants to finance its operation. The best source of grants for a child care center is the local Child and Family Service Office which can help a child care center access several grant programs. In addition, local businesses can also be tapped to contribute money toward the establishment and maintenance of a child care center.

Applying for a grant is not as difficult or daunting as it may seem. Most organizations that provide grants have ready application forms which are generally self-explanatory. Some grants are provided for child care centers that work with specific groups of children but it is not the general requirements for most of the child care grants. The basic requirements for availing of a grant include a business license to operate a child care center and a federal tax identification number.

Most grant applications require a grant proposal, which is simply a request for a grant that outlines the reasons why the child care center should be entitled to it. The grant proposal, therefore, must “sell” the business to the grant approval board by enumerating the purpose of the center and the population it will serve. The proposal must explain how the child care center can provide a positive impact on the community that it aims to serve. The proposal must also explain how the grant will be specifically used for.

Different Sources of Grants

  1. Federal

    Federal grants are funded by the different agencies of the federal government. Typically, grants from a federal agency are funneled down to the communities through state agencies.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture – It has two agencies with start-up/expansion funding programs:

    The Rural Housing Service (RHS) has facility funding available for non-profits or local governments that support child care facilities. (

    The Rural Business Cooperative Service has guaranteed loan programs for small business development available for profit child care programs. For eligibility or to apply for any of their programs, contact the state or local Rural Development Office,

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) – The agency has funding programs that support child care services. The Child Care Bureau has several funding programs for child care facilities.

    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – It supports child care facilities near or within public housing, EZ/EC’s, or low-income areas through facility construction using block grants, programs, and networks. To determine eligibility or to apply for any of their programs, contact the state HUD office at

    U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) – It provides small businesses financing options, technical assistance, and child care resource information. Check with your local SBA offices at

    U.S. General Services Administration – It has programs that allow the donation of surplus federal personal property to state and local public agencies and qualifying nonprofits, which include child care centers. Please contact

    There are other federal programs that support child care such as:

    The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) provide child care vouchers to subsidize the cost of care for low-income families as well as funds for state child care quality improvement initiatives. Nearly half of all children receiving CCDF subsidies are between the ages of five and 12. States are required to utilize at least 4 percent of their CCDF funds on quality activities and may also use discretionary funds earmarked by Congress for school-age care quality improvements and/or resource and referral activities. States may choose to use these funds to support initiatives to improve the quality and availability of school-age care, such as training programs or capacity-building grants for afterschool providers.

    Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) funds, which provide financial support for low-income families, may also be used to support afterschool programs in ways consistent with one or more of the four purposes of the TANF program. States may either directly spend TANF funds on afterschool programs and initiatives, or states can transfer up to 30 percent of their federal TANF allocation to the CCDF. TANF funds transferred to CCDF are subject to all of the CCDF rules and requirements, and can be used to expand out-of-school time capacity-building and quality-enhancement efforts. Direct TANF spending can provide states with additional flexibility when it comes to afterschool care. For example, funds can support services for older youth and can support programs as well as individual subsidies for children.

    The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21CCLC) is the only federal funding source that exclusively supports afterschool programs. The purpose of 21CCLC is to support community learning centers that provide students with a broad array of academic enrichment services, including tutoring, homework help, and community service, as well as music, arts, sports, and cultural activities. When the program first began in 1998, the U.S. Department of Education made competitive awards directly to school districts. However, following the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, 21CCLC was converted into a state formula grant program. As a result, the Department of Education awards grants to State Education Agencies (SEAs), which then manage statewide competitions to grant funds to eligible organizations.

    Federal Food and Nutrition Programs may support snacks or meals for afterschool program participants. After school programs may be able to receive reimbursements from one of four different food and nutrition programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture: the National School Lunch Program: Afternoon Snacks, the Child and Adults Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program and the School Breakfast Program. Reimbursement from these programs can be used to free up funds already spent on meals and snacks to support other program components.

  2. State

    State agencies fund child care assistance under Family Child Care and Development Grants. Application for the child care grants and health grants can be made through In addition to this government agency of the state, funding sources could be obtained from the following sources:

    Kentucky’s Child Care Block Grant – It provides child care guarantee to families that meet the eligibility criteria. There are three categories of eligibility:

    1. Families receiving public assistance (PA) when child care is needed for a child under 13 years old in order for the parent or caretaker to participate in orientation, assessment or work activities required in the parent’s or caretaker’s employment or treatment plan.
    2. Families receiving PA when child care is needed for a child under 13 in order to enable the parent or caretaker to work.
    3. Families whose PA is terminated due to increased income from employment are still guaranteed to receive child care assistance for a twelve month period after the case is closed under the following conditions:
      1. The family received PA in three of the six months prior to the close of the case.
      2. The family includes an eligible child who needs child care in order for the parents to work; and
      3. The family has income at or below 200 percent of the State Income Standards.

      Contact Information:
      U.S. Health & Human Services Department
      Region 4 Contact Information
      (Kentucky is part of Region 4)


      Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center (SNAFC)

      61 Forsyth Street, SW
      Atlanta, GA 30303-8909

      Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Division of Child Care
      The Division of Child Care supports quality child care through programs and plans that promote the improvement and expansion of statewide child care services and resources. It also provides program coordination for subsidy payments, coordination of professional development and training, as well as development of policy and procedures.

      The Division of Child Care administers STARS FOR KIDS NOW and the Kentucky Partnership for Early Childhood Services (Child Care Resources and Referral Agencies – CRR&Rs)

      Contact Information:
      Mary Beth Jackson, Director
      275 E. Main St. 3C-F
      Frankfort, KY 40621

      Telephone: (502) 564-2524

      Kentucky Resident Scholarship/Grant Program
      To support professional development of child-care workers, teachers, and trainers, the state of Kentucky created the Early Childhood Development Scholarship, a branch of the KIDS NOW initiative. Funding is provided in tuition scholarships for students who are seeking to become credentialed in child development, obtain an associate or bachelor degree in early childhood education, or obtain Kentucky Early Childhood Development Director certification. Eligibility requires that applicants be a U.S. citizen, a Kentucky resident, enrolled in at least nine credit hours at a state-approved and accredited institution of higher education, and agree to work for a specified amount of time in the field of which you are pursuing credentials. A Free Application for Student Aid, or FAFSA, must also be completed prior to applying for this scholarship. All applications must be registered for and completed online.

      Contact Information:

      Attn: Ms. Melissa F. Justice, Esq.
      P.O. Box 798
      Frankfort, KY 40602-0798
      (800) 928-8926

      The Kentucky Head Start Program
      The Kentucky Head Start program funds 32 Head Start and 12 Early Head Start programs that provide low-income households with children educational services that give them a “head start” on K-12 schooling. Funds come from the federal government, and are used to child development to include preschool education, health services, screening, parent involvement, social services. To qualify for the program children must be from households whose income meets federal poverty guidelines. All children with disabilities are eligible. Since 2004 over $100 million in funding has been provided throughout Kentucky’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs, with over 14,000 three-and four-year-old children throughout 120 counties. Grantee agencies include Ashland Head Start, the Lake Cumberland Head Start/Early Head Start, and the Paducah Head Start.

      Contact Information:
      Kentucky Head Start Association, Inc.

      649 Charity Court, Suite 1
      Frankfort, KY 40601

      (800) 869-9257

      The Kentucky Arts Council
      The Kentucky Arts Council has an ArtsStart grant program that places resident artists into schools and childcare facilities with early childhood programs to “meet the needs of young learners.” The Christ of the King Learning Center in Louisville was one recipient that provided a week-long residency of preschool children from three-and-a-half to six-years-old with theatre, music, and plays. These residencies involve children, parents, and administration in all activities and events, in an effort to promote “the awareness of the value that arts provide to the holistic development of young children.” Other funded programs available for early childhood include the Performing Arts on Tour Grant, Poetry Out Loud, and the Teacher Initiated Program (TIP). Funds of up to $30,000 may be applied for.

      Contact Information:

      500 Mero Street
      21st Floor, CPT
      Frankfort, KY 40601
      Toll Free: 888-833-2787
      (502) 564-3757

      Kentucky Department of Local Government
      DLG has two offices that administer grant programs: The Office of Federal Grants under the direction of Lynn Travis Littrell and The Office of State Grants under the direction of Russell Salsman.

      Contact Information:
      Governor’s Office

      Department of Local Government
      1024 Capital Center Dr., Ste 340
      Frankfort, KY 40601
      Phone: 800-573-2939

      Area Development Funds (ADF):
      In coordination with local Area Development Districts, ADF funds may be used for infrastructure needs including building construction; property and major equipment purchases; and water, gas sewer, electrical and solid waste management.

      Contact Information:
      Governor’s Office
      Department of Local Government

      1024 Capital Center Dr., Ste 340
      Frankfort, KY 40601
      Phone: 800-573-2939
      Jamie Mangeot ext. 215.

      Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC):

      ARC funds may be used to assist the economic development of Appalachia through a variety of projects in the areas of public infrastructure (water, sewer, housing and telecommunications), human resource development (education, workforce development, affordable and accessible healthcare), and business development. 51 Kentucky counties qualify for ARC funding.

      Contact Information:
      Governor’s Office
      Department of Local Government
      1024 Capital Center Dr., Ste 340
      Frankfort, KY 40601

      Phones: 800-573-2939
      Peggy Satterly ext. 250

  3. Private

    Private foundations that are based or operating in the State of Kentucky, as well as those operating nationwide, can also be tapped as source of funding for the establishment and operation of child care business, support for parents and families to avail of child care services, and the training of professionals in the field of child care. Some of these foundations are the following:

    The F.B. Heron Foundation – It is a private, grant making institution dedicated to supporting organizations with a track record of building wealth within low-income communities. It provides grants and investments in organizations that promote three wealth creation strategies for low-income families in urban and rural communities.

    Contact Information:
    The F.B. Heron Foundation
    100 Broadway, 17th Floor

    New York, NY 10005
    Phone: (212) 404-1800

    The Annie E. Casey Foundation

    The grant making of the Anne E. Casey Foundation is limited to initiatives in the United States that manifest significant potential to demonstrate innovative policy, service delivery, and community supports for disadvantaged children and families. Most grantees have been invited by the Foundation to participate in these projects. While the Foundation does not seek or fund unsolicited grant application, it accepts specific promising program, practice, or policy that helps children and families succeed.

    Contact Information:

    Bank of America Foundation
    The Bank of America Foundation operates with one of the largest philanthropic budgets of any financial institution in the United States. In 2001 it contributed more than $85 million in cash to nonprofit organizations across the country. It concentrates funding on pre-K through grade 12 educations and supports programs in early childhood development, economic and financial education, and teacher development. Community revitalization is another focus for funding nonprofit organizations.

    Contact Information:

    Enterprise Foundation
    The Enterprise Foundation and its more than 2,200 network members work together to provide low-income people with affordable housing, safer streets, and access to jobs and child care. Its mission is to see that all low-income people in the United States have the opportunity for fit and affordable housing, and to move up and out of poverty into the mainstream of American life. The foundation believes that supporting quality and affordable child care in low-income communities is critical to the growth and health of neighborhoods. They support home-based and center-based care, foster community partnerships, and advocate for public policy changes to improve the quality, supply, and affordability of child care in low-income communities.

    Contact Information:

    Foundation for Child Development (FCD)
    FCD is a national private philanthropy dedicated to the principle that all families should have the social and material resources to raise their children to be healthy, educated, and productive members of their communities. FCD seeks to understand children, particularly the disadvantaged, and to promote their well-being. The foundation supports basic and policy-relevant research about the factors that promote and support optimal development of children and adolescents; policy analysis, advocacy, services, and public education to enhance the discussion and adoption of social policies that support families in their important child-raising responsibilities; and leadership development activities linked to the programmatic focus of the foundation.

    Contact Information:

    A.L. Mailman Family Foundation
    The A.L. Mailman Family Foundation’s mission is to enhance the ability of families and communities to nurture their children. Its primary program goal is to ensure quality early care and education for all young children. During the past 20 years, the foundation’s work has shifted from support for innovative projects and model programs, to experimentation with replication strategies, to an emphasis on policy, research, and systemic approaches.

    Contact Information:

    Charles Stewart Mott Foundations
    The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is a private philanthropy based in Flint, Michigan. Through four programs, it makes grants in the United States and selected regions internationally. In 1997 the foundation and the U.S. Department of Education entered a multi-year partnership in support of 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC). The foundation helped support the Urban Institute’s Assessing the New Federalism project.

    Contact Information:

    Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF)

    RBF is dedicated to promoting the well-being of all people in the transition to global interdependence. One of the goals of the fund’s Education Program is to promote universal, quality education and care for pre-K children by using a comprehensive approach to their development, including concerns for health, safety, and readiness to learn. Strategies include supporting development of public policies that promote universal access to early childhood programs, and advancing the professional development of early educators.

    Contact Information:

    PNC Grow Up Great
    In September 2003, the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. announced PNC Grow Up Great, a new 10-year, $100 million program that is a corporate commitment to improve school readiness among millions of children from birth to age 5. PNC intends to improve school readiness, a central issue affecting society today, through unprecedented partnerships that involve nationally renowned early education experts, including Sesame Workshop, PBS member stations, and Family Communications, Inc., the producers of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” A first-year pilot program will involve Head Start centers throughout Delaware, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and to immediately impact millions of children, families, and educators.

    Contact Information:

Kentucky Daycare Training and Education