Grants for Starting a New Child Care Facility in Maine
Anyone interested in starting a child care facility (a child care business outside a home environment) is eligible to apply for a grant covering up to 50% of their start-up costs for a total award up to $80,000. The Facility Start-Up application is also for existing child care license holders adding an additional location. Sole proprietors, partnerships, cooperatives, nonprofit organizations, and employers are encouraged to apply.
- General eligibility requirements for licensure.
- Licensed child care providers interested in obtaining an additional facility license are eligible to apply. Awards for existing license holders are contingent on the current license being in good standing. Child care providers with pending investigations or licenses that are “conditional” or “sanctioned” will not be processed and/or awards will not be granted.
Grant awards received may be used for the following purposes:
- Purchasing or renting a building and renovating it to deliver high quality child care. Selected examples include adding a window to allow for egress and to add natural light, removing a wall to increase the size of a room, adding an accessible ground-floor bathroom and installing a fire alarm system.
- Constructing a new building that is designed to enhance a child’s development.
- Buying educational materials. Selected examples include books, musical instruments, developmentally appropriate toys and consumable supplies, such as paper, paint and chalk.
- Acquiring indoor furniture and fixtures. Selected examples include tables, chairs, cribs and sleeping mats.
- Creating an outdoor learning environment. Selected examples include building pathways, gardens or activity centers, such as a mud kitchen.
- Buying playground equipment. Selected examples include swings, sandboxes, shade areas, playsets and energy-absorbing material.
- Procuring health and safety supplies and other materials required to be licensed. Selected examples include first aid kits, electrical outlet covers and gates.
- Having sufficient working capital on hand for the first month. Selected examples include money to cover a week of pre-opening payroll and a month of children’s food while you register and onboard with the subsidy and USDA food programs.
Priority will be given to applications from Aroostook, Franklin, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset and Washington Counties. In addition, applicants committing to the following will receive bonus points:
- Providing care for infants
- Providing care for toddlers
- Providing care for families income-eligible for subsidy
- Participating in the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis through July 31, 2024, or until all funds are awarded or whichever occurs first. There are two steps to the process. Child Care Facility Start-Up Application 1 includes the basic requirements to be licensed and may take several days to complete. Upon completion and Acceptance of Child Care Facility Start-Up Application 1, candidates will be invited to complete Child Care Facility Start-Up Application 2, which includes a business and project plan plus an expense estimate.