How to Start a Daycare with No Money

If you love working with children, you might be thinking about starting up your own daycare facility. Whether it’s based in your home or in a commercial space, the prospect of opening a childcare center is certainly exciting; however, there are also trials and tribulations that prospective daycare operators face. Of all of these stresses, money is, without a doubt, one of the most demanding. Your space must meet stringent regulations, you and any staff that you employ must possess specific certifications, and your employees need to be paid. Add to that educational toys and tools, bedding, food, first aid equipment, books, craft supplies, furniture, and what seems like a mountain of other necessities, and the cost of operating a daycare can be massive.

If financial concerns are preventing you from starting your own childcare center, there’s hope! You may be eligible for daycare grants that can be used to fund your facility. Public and private organizations have reserved millions of dollars to fund daycare centers in the United States; you just need to know where to look and how to apply!

Grant Programs for Childcare Operators

There are several grant programs available for daycare facility operators. Typically, grants that are funded by federal or state governments where there is a particular need for high-quality childcare programs, such as low-income towns and ethnically diverse neighborhoods; however, grants may also be funded by nonprofit or private organizations.

Some of the different grant options that are available for daycare facilities include:

Community Development Block Grants 

Offered through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Community Facilities Program Grants

Issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Child Care and Development Block Grant 

Funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Applying for Daycare Grants

In order to receive funding for a childcare grant, you will need to meet a list of specific eligibility requirements, and the requirements to vary from grant to grant. However, no matter which program you are thinking about pursuing, you will need to fill out and file the appropriate applications.

Prior to completing grant applications, you must first secure a daycare operating license, as well as a tax identification number. Additionally, you also need to have the appropriate business license. When you are applying for a grant, you must submit all of this information; if you fail to your application will not be considered. You should also consider establishing a solid business plan that highlights the fundamental aspects of your daycare center, such as your operating budget, your daily schedule, and the key details that pertain to your facility, as well as any staff members that you employ. While a business plan may not be required for a daycare grant, it can help to improve your chances of being approved.

Ensure that you complete every part of each application and provide all of the necessary documentation. Also, you will want to file well in advance of the deadline to prevent any issues.