Government grants provide funding for projects that fulfil a specific need. Typically, grant applicants must run a non-profit business, but this is not always the case. Applying for a grant requires an application that includes some level of technical writing, budget projection and competition. The government usually requires grantees to provide some form of reporting once awarded a grant. A large number of grants exist, which federal or state agencies administer.
Federal grants provide funding for a range of reasons. Access to grants depends on a business's non-profit or for-profit status. Centers can receive federal grants for facility improvement, quality assessments or start-up costs. The Early Reading First grant provides funding to preschools to provide early language development skills, identify students at risk of reading setbacks and prepare children for entering kindergarten. The U.S. Department of Agriculture administers the Cooperative Extension Service: 4-H Youth Development Program, which provides funding for an education in science and technology, health, nutrition and other life skills for preschoolers through teenagers. The Rural Housing Service provides funding for non-profit centres in rural areas and the U.S. Department of Agriculture also offers grants that help low-income families to afford quality care.
States offer funding through various departments. State-level departments of education or child and family services agencies offer expansion or improvement and early education grants. The Head Start program provides funding for entities to provide an educational start for low-income toddlers and infants. The Arts in Education grant offers funding to provide at-risk youth the opportunity to learn standards in arts. The Department of Education at the state level provides funding for day care centres to expand and offer services to additional infants and toddlers.
The Administration for Children and Families, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides training and technical assistance grants. The grants help communities form a child care network that promotes the health and education of infants, children and toddlers. Technical assistance grants, such as the Afterschool Investments Project, provide funding to states or child care providers to implement, enhance or manage a specific goal.
Several government grants provide funding for needs that affect the daily operation of preschools or day care centres. For example, nutrition programs provide funding to support the purchase of meals, such as after-school snacks, for children during the course of a day. The Child & Adult Care Food Program reimburses qualified applicants for the purchase of meals. The child care subsidy program, which the state department of human services oversees, provides payments on behalf of qualified child care seekers.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Starting a Child Care Center
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Child Care Technical Assistance Network (CCTAN)
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Child and Adult Care Food Program
- Afterschool.gov: Arts in Education Program Details
- Afterschool.gov: 4-H Youth Development Program
- U.S. Department of Education: Early Reading First