Where are the Grants for Family Child Care Providers?


“Where can I get a grant to help me start or expand my family child care business?”

It’s a common question for many family child care providers who don’t have a lot of cash on hand.

The answer is discouraging.

The federal government does not offer any direct grants to family child care providers. Private foundations and corporations are unlikely to give grants to providers. Other than a few special programs, the only source of grants is through Child Care Resource and Referral agencies.

Child Care Resource and Referral

In most states, these agencies offer selective grant programs that are funded by the federal Child Care Development Block Grant and sometimes state dollars. Usually the grant cycle is every two years. Contact your local CCR&R agency for more information. They will know about any grant programs in your area.

Online Services

There are several online services (here and here) that purport to offer access to grants for family child care providers. These sites charge a registration fee of $30 and will send you a list of grant prospects. Although I haven’t tried to use these services, I don’t believe they are helpful because there are no federal grants directly available to you.

Has anyone tried to use these services?

Other Possible Options

Some states or private organizations may offer grant programs. One example is VOICE, a New York union that offers up to $500 grants to New York providers living outside New York city.

Why no Grants?

Why aren’t there more grant programs available other than those through your local Child Care Resource and Referral agency?

Family child care providers are for-profit businesses. (Although it may not feel like it!) Few government programs or private foundations or corporations will support for-profit businesses with grants.

It would make little difference if you decided to set up a tax-exempt non-profit organization to operate your business. First, it would be extremely difficult to establish a tax-exempt organization when you serve so few children. Second, organizations that might have money are reluctant to deal with businesses that serve only a handful of children.


There are a few more opportunities to get a loan versus a grant. See my article “Where to Get a Loan.”

What other sources of grants or loans do you know about?

Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com

Image credit: usuchild.usu.edu

Categories: Money Management & Retirement, Starting Your Business

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9 replies

  1. Tom what about day care Associations with a 501C3? Are their places we can get grants to help pay for trainers/speakers?

  2. Good point! Family child care associations may have access to grant money that individual providers may not. Your association should talk with your local CCRR to see if they know of any grant possibilities in your area.

  3. Hi tom, Iam family day care provider ,I have three families and I Decided to open my day care in second floor ,but I am not living there because I bought a single house in another place ,my husband told me if you will open your business in the second floor means Iwill pay him the rent 1100$.The question is I Keep the receipt for my tax or not . thank you

  4. Unless you are incorporated, you can’t pay your husband rent for property that you also own.

  5. Hi Tom I just opened my family home daycare June 1 2016 and I wanted to know about grants or funding for food an supplies.

  6. Hello Tom, I wanted to know what other ways leagally can a Family (for profit) child care earn money if Fundraisers are not allowed? Are we able to do a barter system like Networking events or create a field day for children and families? Its hard trying to find other ways to bring in money. I have contacted my local offices, even taken a class but no one can fill me in on other legal ways.

    • Fundraisers are allowed! You must pay taxes on any profit your make from a fundraiser. If you barter with parents you won’t earn any more money than if parents paid you, since you must treat any bartering activities as if money changed hands. The ways you can make more money are: care for more children, raise your rates, lower your taxes, take on another part time job, make/sell items, do fundraisers.

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