Opening a Child Care Program in Oregon? Act Now and Receive Grant Money!

September 9, 2022

Have you ever considered starting your own child care business? If so, now is the time to do so with a grant opportunity that has just opened up in Oregon. From now until spring 2023, you can open a child care in your home and receive up to $15,000 in grant funding from the Oregon Early Learning Division (ELD).  If you already run a child care program and are looking to expand, this same funding is available. If you are interested in expanding to become a center based program, also known as a commercial child care or preschool, you can receive a much more significant amount of up to $45,000! This grant application window is open only as long as funding lasts, or until May 31, 2023.

More information can be found from your local Child Care Resources Agency in your county:

“The Early Learning Division has created this grant opportunity to help address the critical shortage of Child Care in Oregon. The Research Institute at Western Oregon University is administering this grant with the purpose of increasing the number of child care slots by helping programs to expand their operations and facilitating the opening of new child care businesses. 

These funds can be used for a wide array of expenses related to program start up or expansion. The amount of funding available for programs depends on the individual needs of the program and how it will increase the supply of child care. Start-up family child care programs can apply for up to $15,000 and start-up center-based programs can apply for up to $45,000. Existing programs that are expanding may not qualify for the full amount and will have to submit a detailed budget to justify the request. Funding is limited and this grant opportunity will end on May 31, 2023 or until funds run out.” 

What can I use this money for?

There are many examples of what the funds could be used for within your program. These include: 

• Expenses related to starting a child care business i.e. fees, equipment, building modifications. • Expenses of additional classrooms or locations. 

• New equipment to allow services to additional age groups where there is a high need (i.e. infants). 

• Expenses related to changing license types and/or hiring staff to serve more children. 

• Initial rent or lease payments. (2 months worth)

• Building or upgrading playgrounds. 

• Renovating bathrooms for safety, sanitation, or child accessibility. 

• Accessibility improvements such as ramps, rails, automatic doors. 

• Training, professional development, or educational materials. 

• Furnishings, equipment, or supplies related to business start-up, expansion, and operations. 

• Computers, software, printers, or other technology related to business functions. 

• Services such as management, accounting, marketing, and transportation. Qualified applicants include:(Please note that School District, Head Start, and other federal/state funded programs may not be eligible). 

This grant is open to the following types of programs:

  • Certified Center programs
  • Certified Family programs 
  • Registered Family programs 
  • Unlicensed programs that could become licensed and those interested in starting a new licensed child care business.

To get started with this application you will first need to reach out to your local CCR&R office.

You can find your local CCR&R here.

Once you are in touch with your local CCR&R they will send you the initial application to be sure you are eligible to apply. You will also receive information on what to do next towards getting started on opening your business or progressing with your expansion plans. These steps will be different if you are starting or expanding but will include contacting your Local Licensing Specialist to schedule a pre-certification licensing visit as well as completing your Central Background Registry. You will also need to start an account with the Oregon Registry Online

and complete all required trainings to become a licensed childcare provider. Next you will complete a W-9 form which your CCR&R will help you to submit to Western Oregon University as well as the Conflict of Interest Form.

Please note, you must have a registered business name with the state of Oregon and an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS to apply. Throughout the process of completing these things you will want to stay in contact with your local CCR&R. They can assist you with working on your policy manual and parent handbook as well as helping you be sure to spend your grant funds on the items outlined in your Funding Application. REMEMBER: you will need to keep all your receipts for 7 years.

Is it really worth it to apply?

YES! This may seem like a lot of steps and a lot of information but rest assured they are simple steps and all just a part of becoming licensed to care for the children of our communities in a safe and manageable way. Grant funding such as this for starting up has never before been available, so now is the time to take action on your dreams of becoming a small business owner while being available for your own family. Get excited about moving forward with this dream and make it a reality while helping to bring an end to the current dilemma we are facing in Oregon, being part of a childcare desert.

 Help us all bring care to the kids in need and bring you peace of mind knowing you are making a difference in your own life and so many of those around you!

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