As state and local government budgets are cut due to the continuing economic crisis, schools are competing for the small amount of funds that are still available. For those running a public or private preschool, there are funds available in the form of grants but the application process is lengthy and often filled with rejections. Knowing where to look and what to expect during the process will make it easier and more likely to be successful in obtaining a grant for preschools.
Gather all of the information about your preschool that you will need readily available for filling out the paperwork associated with the grant request process. This may include the total amount of enrolled students, desired and projected amounts for the following year, socioeconomic demographics of the students and staff, educational attainments of the staff, additional funding used and, most importantly, the desired amount of the grant and why.
Know the exact amount and type of grant that you are searching for to reduce the time and breadth of your search. Some grants are more specific while others have a broad spectrum of preschool programs that they fund each year. Having a specific cause, like helping children in low-income Native American families, can narrow the search down to a grant like Even Start-Indian Tribes and Tribal Organizations.
Review the deadlines and check eligibility guidelines of each grant to determine whether they will be a good match for your preschool. For example, the Head Start program funded by the federal government is only available to those schools that have 90 per cent of their enrolled students show income eligibility(families must be below or at the poverty line).
Hire a professional grant writer if there is not one already on your staff. Although a grant writer can be costly, he can make all of the difference when competing against hundreds of other preschools. If you are low on funds, look for a writer paid on commission, meaning that he will receive a portion of the grant monies, normally 1 to 5 per cent, should their proposal be successful.