May 19

In the past, we’ve told you about the many programs available for child care providers who wish to grow their businesses, make structural improvements or incorporate new technology and billing methods.  Today, Alpha Cares is going to provide a bit of insight you need to know as you prepare your grant proposal application.  As you might expect, organization is key to ensuring a streamlined process that will ensure you’re not losing time due to missing elements required in the package proposal.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind each grant has its own specifications that you will need to address; however, these guidelines below are universal and are required in every application, regardless of who is funding the grant.  Now’s an ideal time for child care providers to apply for these funds and here’s how, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Before an application can be reviewed by the Department of Health  & Human Services, which is the primary funding source, you will need to provide a DUNS number.  You can visit for more information on securing a DUNS.
  • Remember that those who are reviewing your application may not be familiar with the child care industry; therefore, the clearer your application, the less the odds become of it getting lost in translation.
  • Take notice of deadlines! This is important since many child care small business owners assume there are no deadlines, which is inaccurate.  Even if you are filing electronically, don’t assume you can wait until the last minute.  You’re only complicating matters for yourself if you frantically attempt to beat the deadlines.
  • Read the instructions in the grant application package.  That can’t be stressed enough – you must have a complete understanding of every aspect so that you can provide the specifics required.
  • Do your homework – that means you need to have an understanding of the industry.  A well researched and carefully planned grant application gets noticed.  Remember, you’re doing this to better the lives of those little ones you care for.  The better prepared you are, the better the experience for the children.

With so many new federal and state guidelines that regulate the child care industry, it’s important to stay focused and always ensure you’re in compliance.  Be sure to visit the website, too.  It’s chock full of solutions and ideas for keeping your billing accurate and organized.  Finally, for more information on filing your grant application electronically, visit the resources page found here.

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Dec 29

As any small business owner can tell you, the availability of grants can sometimes mean the difference between a successful business and one that fades away before it even has the chance to get off the ground.  For child care providers, it’s important to stay current in the latest technology and other advances to ensure you remain competitive in the daycare business sector.  You might be surprised to learn there are grants available that can play a significant role in your child care business.

Obtaining financial assistance doesn’t have to be a difficult process that keeps you from the day to day operations.  Knowing where to look is key.  The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services is a great place to start.  With information on everything from an all-inclusive fundraising director to tutorials designed to help you write an effective grant proposal, this site has it all.  And the best part?  It doesn’t cost you a dime to explore the possibilities.  It even offers publications available for downloading or .pdf versions you can access online without having to download a copy.  Keep reading for some of the best information Alpha Cares found.

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, or CFDA, is a one stop source for all things related to small business owners.  You’re provided information on agencies that stand ready to help smaller daycare centers, including those that operate in a home.

The government’s grants website is another source that’s chock full of information about grants and other funding opportunities many are simply not aware of.  An especially helpful frequently asked questions section sheds even more light on obtaining federal grants.

Looking for ideas for after-school programs?  Visit for information on grants to tips for making your time count with those children you may not see every day until after school.

Finally, if you’ve not yet opened a child care center but are considering it, you owe it to yourself to check out the Starting a Child Care Center e-book.  It is geared towards those interested in opening a child care program in rural areas, but it’s useful for anyone who’s considering an in-home daycare setting.

These are just a few of the many resources available to those in the child care industry.  Check back often as we add to our list of helpful sites and information on grants and other financial sources.

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