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.
Existing family child care providers interested in expanding their licensed capacity* are encouraged and eligible to apply for up to 50% of their expansion costs, up to $4,000.
Grant awards received may be used for the following purposes:
- Renovating a home to expand licensed capacity. 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.
- Expanding an outdoor learning environment. Selected examples include installing a fence, 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.
Up to $25,000 is available for those adding a room on to their home exclusively for their child care business.
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:
- Increasing their licensed capacity by 6 or more children
- 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 Family Child Care Growth application process:
1) FCC Growth Application 1 : Submitting the required documentation to expand the capacity of your family child care. You must submit this application first, and it is anticipated that this application may take up to two hours to complete. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis through 2024 or until all funds are awarded, whichever occurs first.
2) FCC Growth Application 2: Describing your expansion plans (number of children, hours of operation, and services provided) plus a list of your expansion expenses. You will receive a link to FCC Growth Application 2 after your FCC Growth Application 1 has been received and Accepted. It is anticipated that this application may take a few days to complete. Applications will be accepted through July 31, 2023 or until all funds are awarded.