GRANTS For Your Daycare Program
Advice, Tips & Information for Husbands
By: Lyle Jameson - M.Ed in Adaptive Special Education
Lyle shares ideas, tips, and advice on building a successful program and advice for husbands of family child care operators. Lyle teaches high incidence adaptive special education and partners with his wife Jessica at their own respected home child care business.
In recent years, the Federal Government backed by empirical data-based evidence has been taking more and more interest to curtail typical societal problems that contribute to the poverty cycle. To get ahead on this, they have focused their efforts on early childhood development. Although your state agency is your local contact for licensing and accountability the state agency is following the policies outlined in the Child Care Development Block Grant Fund (CCDF) reauthorized in 2014. All states willingly comply with the guidelines in exchange for funding. The funding is contingent on the implementation of several policies and strictly dictates the percentage of funds to be directed at all things Child Care. Besides paying market rate for subsidized child care for low-income families, the fund also sets aside federal money for development of the child care workforce.
How Does This Help Me?
To increase the number of qualified professional child care workers states are mandated to use a portion of the funds to offer professional development and training, as well as recruitment efforts. Depending on the states demand for child care workers recruitment efforts will vary. Although all states have the professional development piece of the puzzle covered. The greatest form of professional development in early childhood development for child care workers is through the form of higher education. To promote higher education states have partnered with community colleges to provide 100% free tuition, fees, and books. In the State of Oklahoma and possibly others, child care workers are additionally awarded a bonus of $500 per semester they attend free college! Coordinators work with busy child care professionals to ensure they are enrolled and have the books and resources to be successful in the degree program.
Another piece of the CCDF is to retain a highly qualified child care workforce to do this they award higher subsidy payments to higher rated programs. The lead agency for child care in each state creates the quality rating system and they often have different names but in all states the higher you climb in the rating system the higher rates of subsidy payment you receive. In addition, to the previous mentioned programs each state offers free training and resources for the child care community. Contact your state agency representative to find out about these free resources. Depending on where you live you may even find free CPR/First Aid training. And while you’re looking for CPR/First Aid training call your local fire department they have a federal grant to ensure every home in their county has a working smoke detection alarm at no cost to you. If you give them a call and tell them how many smoke alarms you need they will tell you when and where to pick them up!
Most seasoned childcare providers are likely already aware of AND using the Child Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The CACFP is a federally funded program run by the States. To participate in the program, you must have a state license for child care. To get information about enrolling ask you case worker, or search CACFP + your state. You will be referred to a program sponsor who guides you through getting set up. There are a few extra hurdles that we find are well worth the effort. The program is monitored for compliance with additional home visits. You will need to follow the nutritional guidelines for each meal and snack based on age, amounts, and variety. In addition to regular home visits, and meal requirements you will need to document each meal and snack you served to each child. Reimbursement rates vary by location but specific rates can be found online but a good average is $100+ monthly per full-time enrolled child. If you have 12 full-time enrollees, well you see the picture here you could bank an additional $14,000 per year for the extra effort. You don't have to be a big daycare center to use the program. Professional licensed home daycare providers use it as well. The CACFP is also the program that provides free and reduced lunches to school-age children, however, participation for child care organizations is not income based.
You can read more about the CCDF online and find a publication of the programs and aids for your specific state through the lead child care agency (likely human services division). Each state is required to submit plans tri-yearly along with market rate surveys to determine subsidy payments. Additional federal grants can be found online through the federal small grants website. Or at this link,
https://ric.nal.usda.gov/starting-child-care-center The grants and information are available to assist you in becoming the highest quality child care provider possible so get started taking advantage of it.
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