Grants for Starting a New Home-Based Child Care Business
Maine residents interested in starting a home-based or family child care business are encouraged and eligible to apply for up to 75% of their start-up costs, for a total award of up to $8,500.
Grant awards received may be used for the following purposes:
- Renovating a home to accommodate 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 and adding an accessible ground-floor bathroom.
- Purchasing 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 payroll and children’s food.
Up to $25,000 is available to those adding a room on to their home exclusively for their child care business. For more information about the definition of “adding a room,” please see the Family Child Care section of our FAQ.
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
There are two steps to the application process:
- FCC Start-Up Application 1 (linked below): Completing the requirements to earn a family child care license. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis through June 30, 2024 or until all funds are awarded, whichever occurs first.
- FCC Start-Up Application 2: Invitation-only based on eligibility determined from Application 1 and includes a description of your project plans plus a list of your start-up expenses. Applications will be accepted through August 30, 2024 or until all funds are awarded, whichever occurs first.
Application processing time is expected to take up to five weeks from the time of submission.