Funding Opportunities

In response to COVID-19, Rhode Island has made funding available to support relief and recovery and address the needs of the early childhood sector. This page will be updated as new opportunities emerge.

On this page, you can find the following information:

Little girl wearing a mask

Early Educator Pandemic Retention Bonuses

The RI Department of Human Services (DHS) is excited to facilitate the administration of the Early Educator Pandemic Retention Bonus program. This program is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State Fiscal Recovery Fund (SFRF), as appropriated by Governor Dan McKee and the General Assembly. This program is intended to invest in early educators by offering bonuses to direct child care staff employed at licensed child care providers. Intended to supplement educators’ compensation to support retention and recruitment in the early learning sector, the program will also recognize the vital work that early educators do in supporting the State’s littlest learners. Full time and part-time employees at licensed center or family child care programs ¬ who work directly with children during some portion of the average day may be eligible to apply.

  • When should I apply?
    Window Timeline Funding Amount Eligibility Criteria

    Application Window #3

    October 3, 2022- October 31, 2022

    $750.00

    • An active full-time or part-time employee of a DHS-licensed child care program
    • Providing direct care to children during some portion of the average day of operation
    • Employed at the same DHS-licensed program as of June 1, 2022

    Application Window #4

    *January 1, 2023- January 31, 2023

    $750.00

    • An active full-time or part-time employee of a DHS-licensed child care program
    • Providing direct care to children during some portion of the average day of operation
    • Employed at the same DHS-licensed program as of September 1, 2022

    Application Window #5

    *April 1, 2023- April 30, 2023

    $750.00

    • An active full-time or part-time employee of a DHS-licensed child care program
    • Providing direct care to children during some portion of the average day of operation
    • Employed at the same DHS-licensed program as of December 1, 2022

    Application Window #6

    *July 1, 2023- July 31, 2023

    *These dates are tentative

    $750.00

    • An active full-time or part-time employee of a DHS-licensed child care program
    • Providing direct care to children during some portion of the average day of operation
    • Employed at the same DHS-licensed program as of March 1, 2023
  • How do I apply?
      • How to access: The link to the Eligibility Form will be posted here . The form will gather basic information, including your name, email, DHS-licensed program at which you work, and your role. This form will take approximately 5 minutes. This application may be completed on a computer, tablet or mobile device.
      • Purpose: This Eligibility Form will be used to verify your employment. Information gathered in this form will shared by email with your DHS-licensed program employer for verification of your employment. Once verified, you will be emailed the link to the full application.
      • How to access: The link to the full application will be sent directly to your email (as submitted in the Eligibility Form) from childcaregrants@pcgus.com. Additional instructions will be included in this email.
      • Each applicant is responsible for tracking the progress of their application through the bonus process. If you have not received an automated update after Step One or Two, or would like to know the status of your application in the process, you can contact childcaregrants@pcgus.com.

Quick Links:

Pandemic Retention Bonuses: Grant Overview - ENGLISH SPANISH
Pandemic Retention Bonuses: FAQ - ENGLISH SPANISH
Pandemic Retention Bonuses: Webinar - ENGLISH SPANISH
Pandemic Retention Bonuses: Webinar Script - ENGLISH SPANISH

Family Child Care Start-Up Grants

The Family Child Care Start-Up Grant program will help increase the number of newly licensed Family Child Care (FCC) providers in the State. Designed to help stabilize the child care sector, the start-up grants will assist providers in opening 100 new FCC homes through grants of up to $2,000 in addition to receiving technical assistance to successfully open. Funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State Fiscal Recovery Fund (SFRF) — as appropriated by Governor Dan McKee and the General Assembly — the grant program will support the need to increase capacity in a vital part of a mixed-delivery system.

The application window will remain open from October 3, 2022 to June 30, 2023. If you are interested in becoming a newly licensed Family Child Care provider, please contact ChildCareGrants@pcgus.com or call 833-930-3540 for assistance in English or Spanish.

  • Who can apply?

    To be eligible for this grant, you are either:

    1. A recently DHS-licensed Family Child Care provider, (licensed a maximum 30 days prior to submitting this grant application); or
    2. In the process of becoming a DHS-licensed Family Child Care provider.
    3. Previously licensed Family Child Care providers (that is, provider who are not currently licensed but have been licensed in the past) may also be eligible for this grant as they reopen their program, given their previous license was in good-standing at DHS.

    To become a licensed Family Child Care Provider, you must follow all of the instructions outlined by the Center for Early Learning Professions on their website.

  • How do I apply?

    You can find the application for the Family Child Care start-up grant here.


Quick Links:

FCC Start-Up Grants: Overview - ENGLISH SPANISH
FCC Start-Up Grants: FAQ - ENGLISH SPANISH
FCC Start-Up Grants: Budget Planning Worksheet - ENGLISH SPANISH

Other Opportunities and Resources

BrightStars:
Subscribe to a new newsletter called “Tipping the Scales” to learn tips on improving program quality. Scan the QR code below to subscribe to this great resource!

Brightstars QR Code

LearnERS:
A new professional development opportunity for any program looking to increase their ERS scores. Receive a pre and post ERS assessment with targeted feedback and individually paced online modules for your classroom staff aimed at supporting and increasing your ERS scores. A welcome basket for the program and stipends for participating classroom staff may be available. Email learnERS@riaeyc.org or your navigator for more information.

LISC Rhode Island:
LISC Rhode Island operates the Rhode Island Child Care and Early Learning Facilities Fund (RICCELFF) - a public – private partnership designed to help child care and early learning programs develop safe, high quality learning environments – indoors and outdoors. As part of the fund, LISC offers various opportunities for funding for planning, improvement and expansion of your environment. Learn more here: Funding – RICCELFF

RI Early Childhood Education & Training Program:
The Community College of Rhode Island operates the RI Early Childhood Education & Training Program (RIECETP), offering early childhood educators opportunities to enroll in CDA training and/or earn 12 college credits and or 24 college credits in early childhood education at low or no cost to the student.

RIELDS:
The Rhode Island Early Learning and Development Standards (RIELDS) provide early childhood professionals with a common understanding of what children should know and be able to do as they exit preschool programs and enter kindergarten. RIELDS trainings are aligned with the RI Child Care licensing regulations and BrightStars, the state’s quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). The workforce can register for trainings through the CELP; classes are offered quarterly, and are available online, in person and delivered in both English and Spanish.

RI TEACH:
The Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children, (RIAEYC), manages the RI TEACH early childhood scholarship program. Scholarships are available to the early child care workforce employed in DHS licensed, CCAP approved programs. Students can apply for scholarships to earn higher education certificates and degrees at CCRI, RIC and URI.

SEIU Education & Support Fund (ESF):
ESF provides Professional Development and Technical Assistance for CCAP Family Child Care Providers. Educator-centered programming is offered in both English and Spanish and incorporates relationship-based coaching and mentoring. Information about trainings, registration process and/or technical assistance can be found here: https://www.seiueducation.org/trainings-ri

SUCCESS:
Bradley Hospital operates the Supporting Children’s Competencies in Emotional and Social Skills, (SUCCESS). SUCCESS is a free service that pairs early learning programs with Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants. In this consultation model, counselors work in coordination with teachers and parents, offering a variety of on-site services to support social emotional, and behavioral health needs of identified children.

Archived Grant Opportunities for Child Care

ReInvigorate Child Care Stabilization Grants

The ReInvigorate Child Care Stabilization Grants program is a grant opportunity for DHS-licensed child care providers to stabilize their business operations and ensure that they can continue providing safe care.

Rhode Island Department of Human Services (DHS) was awarded federal funds through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 to be directed to eligible child care providers via Child Care Stabilization Grants. Both application windows are now closed.

  • Am I eligible for a stabilization grant?

    Any licensed child care provider (or active license-exempt) in the state of Rhode Island that is open, available to provide care or temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic is eligible to receive a grant. The following providers are eligible:

    • Licensed Child Care Center
    • Licensed Family Child Care Home
    • Licensed Group Family Child Care Home
    • Active License-Exempt Provider

  • How much will my program receive?
    Provider Type Monthly Grant Amount Payment Amount
    Child Care Center Varies based on number of classrooms and licensed capacity. Monthly grants begin at $4,500 per classroom. Varies. Centers may receive up to 6 monthly grants based on two separate grant applications and awards (of 3 monthly grants each). A potential 10% Staff Bonus Add-on may be applied to the second award, pending program spending plan.
    Grants are capped at $50,000 per licensed center per month.
    Family Child Care Home $2,000 $12,000 (6 monthly grants in 1 lump sum payment)
    Group Family Child Care Home $3,000 $18,000 (6 monthly grants in 1 lump sum payment)
    License-exempt provider $400 $2,400 (6 monthly grants in 1 lump sum payment)
  • What can the funds be used for?
    Allowable use of funds Examples
    Equipment or supplies to respond to COVID-19 Purchases of or updates to equipment and supplies to respond to the COVID–19 public health emergency, such as business software upgrades, room dividers, or floor stickers for social distancing.
    Goods or services necessary to maintain child care services Goods and services necessary to maintain or resume child care services. Goods may include: food, equipment and materials to facilitate play, learning, eating, diapering/toileting, and safe sleep. Services may include business automation training, child care management services, food services, or transportation. This may also include fees associated with licensing and costs associated with meeting licensing requirements.
    Mental Health Supports Mental health supports for children and employees. This may include: infant and early childhood mental health consultation, or mental health consultations for staff.
    Personnel Costs Personnel costs, including payroll and salaries or similar compensation for an employee (including any sole proprietor or independent contractor), employee benefits (such as health, dental, or vision insurance; paid sick or family leave; and retirement contributions), premium or hazard pay, or costs for employee recruitment and retention. Personnel costs may also include: ongoing professional development or training, premium or hazard pay, staff bonuses, and employee transportation costs to or from work.
    Personal Protective Equipment Personal protective equipment, cleaning and sanitization supplies and services, or training and professional development related to health and safety practices.
    Rent or mortgage Rent (including rent under a lease agreement) or payment on any mortgage obligation, utilities, facility maintenance or improvements, or insurance.

Quick Links:

Grant Overview - ENGLISH SPANISH
Frequently Asked Questions Updated - ENGLISH SPANISH
Step-by-Step Application Guide: Centers - ENGLISH SPANISH
Step-by-Step Application Guide: Family Child Care - ENGLISH SPANISH
Webinar 1 - Child Care Centers - ENGLISH SPANISH
Webinar 1 - Home-Based Providers - ENGLISH SPANISH
Webinar 1 Script- Child Care Centers - ENGLISH SPANISH
Webinar 1 Script- Home-Based Providers - ENGLISH SPANISH
Webinar 2- Child Care CentersENGLISH SPANISH
Webinar 2- Home-Based ProvidersENGLISH SPANISH
Webinar 2 Script- Child Care Centers - ENGLISH SPANISH
Webinar 2 Script- Home-Based Providers - ENGLISH SPANISH
Webinar 3: Recertification Application - Centers - ENGLISH
"I Received a Grant, Now What?" Fillable Document - ENGLISH SPANISH
Tuition Assistance One-Pager - ENGLISH SPANISH
Provider Checklist - ENGLISH SPANISH
Application Tips - ENGLISH SPANISH
How to Create an Applicant Profile - ENGLISH SPANISH
Grant Recordkeeping Guidance - ENGLISH SPANISH
Business Resources Toolkit: Child Care Centers
Business Resources Toolkit: Family Child Care - ENGLISH SPANISH

Kids in a classroom Kids playing with adult