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  • Child Care Business Expansion Grant Program

    WBDC is pleased to offer grants of up to $25,000 to qualified child care businesses expanding their operations

    The Women’s Business Development Council is offering grants of up to $25,000 to qualified Connecticut child care businesses preparing to expand.

    We will be offering cash grants of up to $25,000 to support OEC-licensed family homes (DCFH), group homes (DCGH), and centers (DCCC) in financial need with their expansion goals. This grant program is designed to help licensed child care businesses grow their operations and create additional slots or revenue streams.

    Grant funds will be awarded to eligible businesses operating for at least 2 years with enrolled children that are: seeking to increase licensed capacity or meaningfully increase enrollment at their existing location (must be increasing by 3 or more full-time equivalent slots); open a new location; grow from family home to group home, or group home to center; or create new revenue streams for the business outside of additional enrollment. Grants will be awarded for applications that will have a measurable impact on the business, its growth and profitability.

    Make sure to read the Eligibility section below before beginning the process to apply. We also encourage you to watch a recent Information Session (scroll down for link).
    This is a competitive process and the WBDC will not be able to fund all strong applicants. 

    Application period closed February 29.

    Decisions have been communicated.

    If you missed this round and are looking for funding for your business, contact us at (203) 353-1750 x129 or childcarebusiness@ctwbdc.org to explore alternate funding opportunities.

    Learn About the Expansion Grant Program

    Watch a Grant Information Session to learn about what the grant can be used for, eligibility requirements, and what information we’re looking for in the application.

    Watch a recording from a previous round, but note that some information may change for the next round:
    Watch Recording in English
    Watch Recording in Spanish / Ver grabación en español

    Grant Prep Class: Financial Templates

    This session will help you prepare some of the key documents needed for your grant application — your historical & current financial statements, as well as your financial projections.  This session will walk you through gathering your financials and filling out the WBDC financial templates (or your own!).  It is only open to those that have attended a Grant Information Session or applied for a grant in the past year.

    Watch a recording from a previous round:
    Watch Recording (English)
    Ver Grabación (Spanish)

    Those that meet all of the following criteria are encouraged to apply:

    1. In business as a CT OEC-licensed family home, group, or center with enrolled children for at least 2 years
    2. Have a minimum of 75% of licensed capacity currently enrolled, including school age children OR
      Current enrollment at 75% of adjusted licensed capacity based on business model
      (For instance, a Family Home with licensed capacity of 9 that never takes school-age children would calculate their enrollment based on 6 regular age — e.g., 5 currently enrolled / 6 adjusted capacity = 83% enrollment)
    3. In good standing with the CT Department of Revenue Services (DRS), or on a payment plan for back-owed taxes
    4. Profitable in at least 1 of the past 3 years, or broke even if a nonprofit
    5. Have an established business banking relationship
    6. Have a formal, digital bookkeeping/financial system (e.g., QuickBooks or ProCare)
    7. Have a demonstrable financial need
    8. If expanding to a new location, close to becoming licensed by OEC as a family home, group home, or center with location approved by CT Department of Public Health
    9. Have a record of annual sales/revenue in last 12 months less than $2,500,000
    *Note: Funds cannot be used for real estate purchases, renovations for a leased building with less than 3 years left on lease, projects that are fully covered by insurance, wish list upgrades not required for expanded operations, or for owner’s salary/draw.
    Additionally, the following businesses are NOT eligible:
    1. Businesses not actively licensed by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) as a family home (DCFH), group home (DCGH), or center (DCCC), and businesses without children currently enrolled.
    2. Businesses that were awarded a WBDC Start-up Grant, Emergency Facilities Grant, or Expansion Grant in the last 6 months for the same license number.
    3. Child care businesses outside of Connecticut. Please contact your local SBA Resource Partner including our sister Women’s Business Centers around the U.S., to learn about funding opportunities in your area.
    4. If your business is outside the child care industry and based in Connecticut, WBDC has other grant programs. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with a WBDC Business Advisor or participate in one of our classes to learn more.

    If there are more qualified applications than we can fund this round, priority will be given to the following programs:

    • Serve infants and toddlers
    • Currently receive Care4Kids
    • NAFCC or NAEYC Accredited, or Head Start Approved
    • State and/or federally funded (i.e., Care4Kids, School Readiness, Child Day Care Contract, State Head Start, Federal Head Start, and DCF)
    • For-profit programs that operate full-time* (See below definition)

     

    *For purposes of the WBDC’s Child Care Business Opportunity Fund grants, the definitions of full-time and part-time are as follows, in line with those from OEC Stabilization Funding:

    • Full-time for centers (DCCC), group homes (DCGH) programs means that 50% or more of the classrooms in your program operate 30 hours or more per week.
    • Full-time for family child care homes means that your program operates 30 hours or more per week.
    • Part-time for centers (DCCC), group homes (DCGH) programs means that less than 50% of the classrooms in your program operate 30 hours or more per week.
    • Part-time for family child care homes means that your program is open less than 30 hours per week.

     

    Prepare Your Application

    Before you begin your application, you will be required to create a profile in WBDC’s eCenter portal to provide general information about you and your business.

    If you are an existing WBDC client that has used eCenter before to register for classes, you will need to review and update your eCenter Profile by logging into eCenter, and clicking “My Information” on the left.

    If you are an existing WBDC client that has not used eCenter before, click the link below to get to our eCenter. Then click “Forgot Password” in the top right corner. Enter your email and follow the on-screen prompts to access to your profile.  Once logged in, click “My Information” on the left to complete or update your information.

    Click here to complete your eCenter profile

    Here are the components of the application:

    Profile, Contact, and Eligibility

    Section A: Background about Your Business
    Section B: Use of Grant Funds
    Section C: Narrative of Your Business
    Section D: Supporting Documents for Uploading
    Section E: Compliance and Consent

    What we’re looking for in an application:

    • Thoughtful, complete, and well-developed picture of your business that shows a path to growth
    • Exceptionally clear use of funds, with a strong link to growth, along with strong supporting detail
    • Historical financials that are thorough, detailed, and thoughtful
    • Financial projections that are robust, reflect seasonality of business, and have numbers that make sense
    • Display the business’ long-term potential, with strong growth and strong potential for continued growth
    • Slot creation potential, with the business being on track to expand its licensed capacity and enrollment
    • Job creation potential, with the business being on track to adding more jobs
    • Return on investment – that the funds will help unlock growth​​
    • Grant will have a meaningful impact on the business and help the business grow
    • Unmet financial need

    WBDC Business Advisors are available to help answer your questions after you have attended a live or on-demand information session. Appointments available in English or Spanish during standard business hours and evenings. If you need an appointment in a different language, accommodations may be possible.

    Request an appointment at:
    https://ctwbdc.wufoo.com/forms/z6mvzcg167rfc6/

    *Please note* If you review your application with a business advisor, it does not mean you will receive a grant, as an external review committee is making the decisions on which applicants receive grants.

    Additional Resources

    Proposed Use of Funds Tracker

    Download the Proposed Use of Funds’ Tracker below and fill in to indicate your proposed use of funds with the contractor/vendor, and cost of each item.  This will serve as a cover sheet for your back-up use of funds documentation.

    Access Here in Google Sheets / Download to Microsoft Excel Here

    Financial Templates

    We have optional templates for you to use for your historical and projected financial documents.

    If you are a family home (DCFH), a Balance Sheet is not required. If you utilize QuickBooks or another digital system, you should use financial statements from there, instead of the WBDC templates.

    Historical Financials Template (English/Spanish):
    Access Here in Google Sheets / Download to Microsoft Excel Here

    Financial Projections Template (English/Spanish) – complete for 1 year only:
    Access Here in Google Sheets / Download to Microsoft Excel Here

    How to Obtain a Status Letter

    Please request your letter from the CT Dept. of Revenue Services (DRS) myconneCT online center: 𝗺𝘆𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗖𝗧 (ct.gov) 

    Here is a tutorial to on how to request the status letter: Requesting a Status Letter (of Good Standing) (ct.gov)

    Click here to see an example of what your status letter should like. Please note that if it does not look like this – it is the wrong document. 

    If myconneCT doesn’t work, you can obtain your Letter of Good Standing from the CT DRS by visiting: https://drsindtax.ct.gov/AUT/welcomeindividual.aspxYou will need to log in using the EIN of your LLC, or your Social Security/Tax ID number used to file your taxes. If you file your taxes jointly with your spouse, you will need to use the main Social Security/Tax ID number used to file your taxes.  

    These grants are made possible through the generous financial support of the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC).