New York Daycare & Child Care Grants


A child care business requires a large amount of capital and the usual source of funding is a bank loan. 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:

    New York State’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
      26 Federal Plaza
      New York, NY 10278

      (212) 264-4600

      Office of the Children and Family Services (OCFS) – The Office will distribute $1 million from the Child Care Block Grant to child care facilities across New York. The grant will be used to launch and expand school-age child care programs and day care centers, creating 268 new child care slots in the process.

      Contact Information:
      Gladys Carrion,

      New York State Office of Children & Family Services
      52 Washington Street
      Rensselaer, NY 12144

      Child Care Program Grants – The following grants help offset the cost of opening and operating a quality child care program. The grants assist child care professionals to obtain health and safety equipment, materials, supplies, and training to meet New York State Office of Children and Family Services child care regulations, licensure, and registration:

      1. Start-up Grant – It gives new and prospective providers up to $500 for supplies to help ensure the health and safety of the children in their program. The Start-up Grant is a one-time-grant for providers who have had their license or registration for less than six months and have not received a grant from another agency.
      2. Health & Safety Grant – This grant is available to existing providers for the maintenance of health and safety supplies. The maximum grant is $200. It is available to an existing provider who has not received a grant in 5 years.
      3. Legally Exempt Provider Grant – It is available to legally exempt providers. The grant is $75 to help promote health and safety in the program.

  3. Private

    Private foundations that are based or operating in the State of New York, 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

    Rauch Foundation

    It is a Long Island-based family foundation that supports innovative and effective programs designed to:

    1. Give disadvantaged children a better start in life;
    2. Improve the natural environment in Maryland and on Long Island;
    3. Build management skills and foster leadership in the nonprofit and civic sectors.

    Contact Information:

    Nancy R. Douzinas, President
    229 Seventh Street, Ste. 306
    Garden City, New York 11530

    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 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:

    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:

New York Daycare Training and Education