Maine Daycare and Child Care Grants


Funding and maintaining a day care service search is a demanding effort. This is the reason why many people who plans to establish their own day care business typically obtain their capital from their own savings or roesort to asking funds from other people. More often than not, even if the child care business is economically unsteady, they still strive to push it through for the effortless grounds that they care for children very much and would desire to lend a hand for the community people, particularly the working parents who need child care services while they’re at work.

Rather than seeking from other people or a loan from a bank, a more beneficial option would be to solicit grants from different organizations that present them. But oftentimes, one grant is not sufficient to load up the entire gap – that’s why it is essential that you acquire many grants so as to uphold your business. Usually, the license to operate and your federal tax I.D. number are the basic things that you need in applying and requesting for grants. Yet, other grants are limited to day care centers that accommodate to a definite target population of kids so it would be very clever to look into those as well.

In order to apply for a grant, a grant proposal is one thing you have to prepare. It should state your reasons why your center should be provided with a grant. In essence, it is a paper which targets in selling your business to the board for grant approval and lend them reasons suitable for request approval. So, you should emphasize your intention as well as the advantages it can provide your community. Also, it must elucidate how you plan to utilize the grant funds in every aspect.

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) provides 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

    There are several state agencies in Maine that fund child care assistance programs. Many grants can be obtained through the Family Child Care and Development Grants. Applications can be made through

    In addition, funding sources can be accessed through the following programs of the Maine Department of Child and Family Services:

    Paying for Child Care

    Child care is expensive and it can be a huge part of a family’s budget. Maine has two ways to help families pay for child care-vouchers and contracted slots. Some employers in Maine also offer child care benefits to their employees.

    DHHS Child Care Voucher Program

    It is Maine’s child care voucher program. Vouchers are funded by the federal Child Care Development Fund and state funds. The program is designed to help income eligible families in the state of Maine pay for child care costs while employed, in training, or looking for work. A parent applies for a voucher at their Child Care Voucher Management Agency.

    Eligibility is based on a family’s size and gross household income. If you are working, looking for work, in training, or attending school you may qualify. The table below shows the maximum gross weekly income to qualify for a voucher. This amount includes all sources of income.

    How do I apply for a voucher?

    You can call DHHS at 1-877-680-5866 or 207-624-7999. We will send you an application or you may download a copy of the application at:

    Completed applications along with appropriate documentation should be returned to the CCDF Voucher Program, 2 Anthony Avenue, 11 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0011.

    Employer Sponsored Child Care Assistance Plans

    There are a growing number of employers in Maine that offer some sort of assistance to their employees for their child care needs.

    Child Care Resource Development Centers can help employers assess their employees child care needs and offer assistance in starting child care assistance programs. One program the Resource Development Centers can offer is Enhanced Referrals. These will give employees a more thorough referral which includes contact with the potential providers to ensure availability.

    Other assistance employers can offer include on-site child care, child care payment assistance, and flex-time.

    Some companies offer their employees Dependent Care Assistance Plans (DCAP). These plans let employees set aside a certain amount of income before taxes to pay for child care. Personnel or benefits offices can give employees information on whether they offer a DCAP and how to use it. There are limits to how much can be set aside.

    The amount set aside will reduce the dollar amount eligible for the Child and Dependent Care Credit.

    Contracted Child Care Agencies

    The Department of Health and Human Services contracts with community agencies statewide to provide direct child care services to eligible families. Families apply for these services and pay on a sliding fee scale which assesses a parent fee that will not exceed 10% of the family’s gross monthly income (much like the voucher program). Services include full-time or part-time child care, wrap-around services for Head Start, and family child care networks for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years of age in licensed child care centers or family child care homes.

    To find out about availability or to apply for a contracted child care slot, contact the agency directly. Your Child Care Resource Development Center can also provide information about contracted slots and agencies that have these slots available.

    For more information go to:

    Child Care Tax Credits

    There are tax credits at the Federal and/or State level that can benefit families with young children.

    Dependent Care Tax Credit

    The Maine dependent care state tax credit is equal to 25% of the federal credit for child and dependent care expenses. The credit doubles if the expenses are related to a quality child care provider. This credit is also refundable up to $500.

    The Maine legislature passed a law that expands the income tax credit for child care expenses. A Maine taxpayer who enrolls a child in a child care center or home with a Quality Certificate is eligible for a double child care tax credit on their state income tax return. An individual is allowed a credit against the tax otherwise due in the amount of 25% of the federal tax credit allowable for child and dependent care. In the new law, this credit doubles in amount if the child care expenses were incurred through the use of programs with Quality Certificates. The credit may result in a refund of up to $500.

    To qualify for the double tax credit, the number from the child care provider’s Quality Certificate will need to be entered on a Maine State Income Tax Return. This is not the number on a child care license, but the 3 digit number on a Quality Certificate.

    To Learn More, go to:

    Earned Income Tax Credit

    While the Earned Income Tax Credit is not directly related to child care, it is a way that low-income parents can receive money to pay for child care or other expenses.

    This is a refundable Federal tax credit for eligible families who work and have earned income under $32,121 (for a taxpayer with more than one child and meets all other qualifying requirements). The EITC reduces the amount of tax owed and it may result in a refund. Taxpayers can get more information about the Earned Income Tax Credit from the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-1040. Publication 596 describes the EITC and is available at your local IRS office or on-line at

    Child Care Programs in the State of Maine:

    Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions you will make for your child. A good child care setting can have a positive impact on the development of your child.

    Maine has many different child care options to meet the various needs of families. Here is a brief description of the options available.

    Child Care Centers Facilities licensed as a child care center serve more than three children under the age of 13 and are not a place of residence. The average child care center in Maine cares for 35 children. Centers often have a more structured schedule and children are grouped according to age. Child Care Centers usually follow regular work hours and may be closed for holidays. Staff in a center must be at least 18 years of age and a Center Director must have experience and/or an educational background in Early Care and Education. Yearly minimum training requirements, including CPR and First Aid, must be maintained by staff of the center.

    Family Child Care Homes A licensed family child care provider can care for up to 8-12 children, depending on the children’s ages and if there is additional help, in his or her home. The average family child care home in Maine cares for 11 children. Family Child Care Homes often have mixed age groups. Family Child Care Providers are required to take a 6 hour Getting Started in Family Child Care course offered through Regional Child Care Resource Development Centers before getting a license to care for children. Yearly minimum training requirements, including CPR and First Aid, must be maintained. If a person cares for only one or two children they are exempt from license requirements (see legal-unlicensed child care below).

    Nursery Schools offer programming to children, ages 3-7, for no more than 3 1/2 hours per day, 2-5 days a week. The preschool programming often provides a structured curriculum to an average of 10 children in a group.

    Legal-Unlicensed Child Care

    Kith and Kin (family and friend) caregivers, are considered “legal-unlicensed” if they care for only one or two children in their home. Care for Me is a program of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child Care and Head Start, which performs background checks on legal unlicensed providers and maintains a database that is available to parents to verify the background of their Kith and Kin provider. The Care for Me network also provides information to Kith and Kin caregivers on child care health and safety issues.

    Head Start

    Head Start is a comprehensive early childhood development program for children, ages 3-5, whose family income is at or below the poverty level or who have a disability. Comprehensive services include education, health, nutrition, and social skills. Traditionally Head Start is a part-day, part-year program, operating for 3 1/2 hours to 6 hours per day for 32 weeks a year. Most Head Start programs throughout Maine now offer “wrap around services” which combines Head Start services with child care services to offer full-day, full-year programs to families. Through Home Start, Head Start programming is offered at family child care homes. Early Head Start is a family focused program for children ages 0-3 with the same eligibility requirements as Head Start. Maine offers Early Head Start services in centers and family child care homes, as well as through Home-based programming in which Head Start personnel come to the child’s home to meet with the family.

    School Age Program

    are typically for children between the ages of 5-12 years. This type of care can be found in a public or private school setting, as well as in recreation centers, child care centers, or family child care homes. There is usually one director and a staff of teachers, all trained in school-age care and related activities. Group sizes are determined by state regulations, and programs are licensed. Some programs run on a school calendar, while others operate year round. School-age care can be provided before school begins, in the after-school hours, and possibly on school holidays and breaks. In some cases, transportation and meals are provided as well.

    Summer Programs

    Summer camps run in sessions, and can be full-day or part-day schedules. Summer camps usually serve children aged 5-15 years. Camps are licensed by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Health, Division of Health Engineering, and there is a director and a trained staff of counselors and assistants. Some camps specialize in certain areas, such as the arts, sports, or science. In some areas of Maine, free summer camp opportunities are available. Your Resource Development Center can provide further information.

    Public School Preschool Programs

    Preschool programs that are administered by local public school systems in many areas of Maine are not regulated by this Department, but instead by the Department of Education.

    In-Home Care

    is provided in a child’s home by a personally hired caregiver, usually a nanny or au pair, or in some cases a “mother’s helper”. This type of care is not regulated by the state, so further information about this type of care can not be provided by this office. Your Resource Development Center does not offer referrals for this type of care.

    12-15 year old Programs

    The Office of Child Care and Head Start/DHS recently funded 17 new or expanded after-school programs for 12-15 year old youth. These diverse programs are located across the state and offer unique and exciting activities for this age-group.

  3. Private

    Private foundations that are based or operating in the State of Maine, 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:

    Agnes M. Lindsay Trust

    The Agnes M. Lindsay Trust was formed in 1939 in New Hampshire. It currently awards grants that support health and welfare organizations, particularly those serving individuals with special needs, including the blind, deaf, learning disabled, the elderly, and children. Organizations funded include (but are not limited to) children’s hospitals, youth/family services, children’s homes, summer camps and enrichment programs, hospice care, and programs for those with disabilities.

    Contact Information:

    Mailing Address
    The Agnes M. Lindsay Trust
    660 Chestnut Street
    Manchester, New Hampshire 03104
    E-Mail Address:

    Contact Info.

    Telephone: (603) 669-1366

    Toll Free: (866) 669-1366

    FAX: (603) 665-8114

    Baystate Charitable Foundation

    The mission of the Baystate Charitable Foundation, established in 1999, is to raise money through various events to support local New England area charities. Two of the major charities that Baystate Financial supports are the DCF Kids Fund and Friends of the Children-Boston.

    Contact Information:

    • Baystate Financial Services,LLC
    • 200 Clarendon Street, 19th Floor
    • Boston, MA 02116
    • Phone: 617-585-4500
    • Fax: 617-369-9040

    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:

    C.F. Adams Charitable Trust

    The C.F. Adams Charitable Trust mission is to encourage Downeast Maine communities to work together to preserve their local cultural heritage, improve their quality of life, adapt to a changing environment, and achieve a sustainable economy; to promote innovative broad-based efforts to engage families in meeting the mental health needs of children in Massachusetts and to emphasize the extraordinary therapeutic benefits of the arts.

    The C.F. Adams Charitable Trust does not accept unsolicited proposals. It invites organizations to submit requests after a determination has been made that there is a potential fit with its funding interests. Organizations are encouraged to review the information supplied here to learn about the foundation’s focus and interests. If an organization believes it falls within both the foundation’s programmatic and geographic scope, it may submit a brief description of its mission, programs and funding needs via email to the Managing Trustee at:

    A reply email will provide information as to whether a full proposal will be considered. For applicants based in Massachusetts or Maine, the C. F. Adams Charitable Trust accepts the Common Grant Application forms developed by Associated Grant Makers and the Maine Center for Philanthropy.

    Typically, the process leading to a funding decision includes discussion of the organization’s mission and programs, review of financial information and exploration of the plans for implementation and assessment. Site visits may be made prior to, or following, a grant award. Grant recipients can anticipate ongoing dialogue with the Trust about accomplishments and challenges.

    C.F. Adams Charitable Trust
    141 Tremont Street, Suite 200
    Boston, MA 02111-1209

    Horizon Foundation

    The Horizon Foundation will support programs and organizations that aspire to create and maintain sustainable and livable communities by: Protecting and conserving land and water resources, Educating children and adults about being good stewards of the environment, Promoting vibrant, child-oriented arts, Teaching respect for and preservation of historic assets, Enabling children and adults to lead their communities in thoughtful, creative, and healthy ways, Encouraging service to others. Geographic Area: Horizon Foundation will only consider grant proposals from non-profit organizations that support projects primarily in Cumberland, Franklin, Lincoln and York Counties in Maine; Barnstable County, Massachusetts; Mercer County, New Jersey; and Fairfield County, Connecticut.

    Contact Information:

    You can contact us at:
    One Monument Way

    2nd Floor
    Portland, ME 04101
    PHONE: (207) 773-5101

    FAX: (207) 773-5201

    Olivia’s Organics Charitable Foundation

    The Olivia’s Organics Charitable Foundation was established in early 2006 as a way to invest in the lives of children. The Foundation seeks to give direct-service grants to organizations that work with children by providing services that have an immediate and tangible impact on their well-being. The foundation does not accept unsolicited grants, but instead chooses organizations with which it would like to partner for each quarter of the fiscal year.

    Unsolicited grant applications to the Olivia’s Organics Charitable Foundation are not accepted. Please do not send a general grant application request form to the organization. If you would like to make the Foundation aware of the work that you do, please send a one page cover letter and three copies of your organization’s information brochure. Since its inceptions the Foundation has proudly partnered with dozens of children’s charities in New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

    Contact Information:

    Olivia’s Organics

    PO Box 6277 Chelsea, MA 02150



    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:

    Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

    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:

    Orchard Foundation

    The Orchard Foundation is a private charitable foundation, founded in 1990, that makes grants to non-profit organizations concerned with the environment and children, youth and families in New York and New England. The Foundation will also consider Family Literacy projects – however the foundation is primarily interested in funding projects specifically aimed at children.

    Geographical Limitations: The foundation funds in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont (and very infrequently in Connecticut and Rhode Island).

    Executive Director
    Orchard Foundation
    P.O. Box 2587
    So. Portland, ME 04116

    phone & fax: (207) 799-0686

Maine Daycare Training and Education