Child Care Business Expansion Grant Program
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; 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 recorded Information Session.
This is a competitive process and the WBDC will not be able to fund all strong applicants.
*** The current round of applications closed April 30. ***
Next round will open by Fall 2022.
In the meantime, we encourage you to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for no-cost support with your business!
Learn About the Expansion Grant Program
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- In business as an OEC-licensed family home, group, or center with enrolled children for at least 2 years as of March 1, 2022
- Have a minimum of 75% of licensed capacity enrolled as of March 1, 2022, 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)
- Profitable in 2019, and 2020 or 2021; broke even as a non-profit in 2019, and 2020 or 2021
- In good standing with the CT Department of Revenue Services (DRS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Have an established business banking relationship
- Have a formal, digital bookkeeping/financial system (e.g., QuickBooks or ProCare)
- Have a demonstrable financial need
Those that meet the above criteria are encouraged to apply.
You may use the Eligibility Review Request Form if you meet the above criteria and believe you got an ineligibility message on the grant application in error.
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 Emergency Grant, Expansion Grant or Equity Match Grant in the last 12 months (since March 2021).
3. 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:
a) 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.
b) Full-time for family child care homes means that your program operates 30 hours or more per week.
c) 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.
d) Part-time for family child care homes means that your program is open less than 30 hours per week.
These definitions are consistent with those from OEC Stabilization Funding.
We encourage all interested applicants to attend an information session to understand what is required for the application and to help prepare your application in advance.
The session will cover eligibility requirements, what the grant can be used for, the application process and timeline. Additionally, we will share the application questions and the required supporting documentation.
Watch the recording in English – Click here
Mira la grabación en español – Haga clic aquí
Not the right grant for you? Use the button on the right to see our other Child Care Business Grant programs.
Prepare Your Application
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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.
There are four sections of the application. For the first two sections, you will be required to provide a detailed picture of your business.
Section 1: Business Operations & Financial Summary
Section 2: How You Would Use the Grant
Section 3: Narrative of Your Business
Section 4: Supporting Documents for Uploading
Compliance and Consent
Application Guide with application questions and document checklist:
Download the 2022 Guide
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
*Please note* If you received OEC Stabilization Funds, this WBDC grant cannot be used to cover the same expenses you are utilizing Stabilization Funds for. 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 continued operations, or for owner’s salary/draw.
WBDC Business Advisors are available to help answer your questions after you have attended a live or on-demand information session. Please contact us at email@example.com or (203) 353-1750 x113 to schedule an appointment.
WBDC Child Care Team will also be available for questions during extended Office Hours after you have attended a live or on-demand information session.
*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.
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We have optional templates for you to use for your historical and financial documents.
If you are a family home (DCFH), a Balance Sheet is not required.
As an Expansion Grant applicant, we highly encourage you to use your existing system, such as QuickBooks or ProCare, to download your financials. If you do not have a financial statement or projections template, you may utilize WBDC’s templates below.
Please use the links below to obtain your Letter of Good Standing for your business from CT Department of Revenue Services (DRS).
For business owners with a Business Tax ID #:
– Request your letter from the CT DRS myconneCT online center: 𝗺𝘆𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗖𝗧
– Here is a tutorial to request: Requesting a Status Letter (of Good Standing)
– If you run into challenges navigating myconneCT, call DRS at 877-729-6691.
For Sole Proprietorships, Single-Member LLCs without a Tax ID #, please obtain a letter at:
– Taxpayer Service Center (TSC) – Welcome Individual (ct.gov)
If requested via myconneCT or the TSC, and you are in good standing, a letter will be displayed for print out. Click here for an example of what your Letter of Good Standing should look like.
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