Acquiring a Child Care Business Grants

[Updated August 26, 2022 at 3:00 PM EST]

A total of $15 million dollars in federal funding has been allocated for the Child Care Infrastructure Grant Program through Governor Mills’ Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan and Child Care Plan for Maine. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) is administering the Child Care Infrastructure Grant Program through a partnership with CEI.

Overview

If you are buying the furniture and fixtures plus the enrollment of an existing child care business and you can demonstrate at least a 25% increase in enrollment within four months of the transaction, you may be eligible for a Child Care Infrastructure Grant for up to 50% of your costs, up to $25,000.

Grant awards received may be used for the following purposes:

  • Purchasing furniture, fixtures, educational materials and other assets from an existing child care provider. Selected examples include books, musical instruments, developmentally appropriate toys, tables & chairs, cribs, sleeping mats and more
  • Fees to use existing business practices, policies and menus
  • Inheriting current enrollment and expanding enrollment by 25% within 4 months
  • Light renovations to the space to enhance the quality or to increase capacity.
  • Buying additional indoor activities or enhancing the outdoor space to accept more children.
  • Procuring health and safety supplies and other materials required to increase your enrollment.
  • Having sufficient working capital on hand for the first month. Selected examples include money to cover payroll and children’s food while you adjust to new subsidy and USDA food program levels.

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Priority Areas

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

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Application Process

There are 2 steps to the application process: 

  • Acquisition Application 1, which entails submitting the required documentation for you to be licensed. It is anticipated that this application may take up to a few days to complete. 
  • Acquisition Application 2, which includes a description of your transition and growth plans, including operational and financial plans. You will receive a link to Acquisition Application 2 after you complete Acquisition Application 1 and it has been Accepted. It is anticipated that this application may take a week to complete. Applications will be accepted through July 31, 2023 or until all funds are awarded, whichever occurs first. 

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