STAMFORD, Conn. — The Women’s Business Development Council is encouraging child care businesses in Connecticut to apply for grant funding through the WBDC Child Care Business Support Program and Opportunity Fund. The program is supported by a partnership between WBDC and the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) and offers grants of up to $25,000 to qualified child care businesses.
Since its inception in 2020, the program has distributed 439 grants, totaling $4.93 million in funding to Connecticut’s child care providers. These OEC-funded grants have reached providers in 68 towns, with 80% going to businesses operating in an underserved child care community, and 62% to minority-owned businesses.
Interested child care providers can apply for the next round of Start-Up and Expansion Grants through May 31. Applicants are encouraged to visit ctwbdc.org/child-care-business-grants to learn more and register for an upcoming Grant Information Session, the first of which is taking place on May 3. Grants through the Emergency Facilities Program are available through a rolling application process. The May 31 deadline does not apply to that program.
“A healthy child care industry is essential to a vibrant economy,” said WBDC CEO Fran Pastore.” Through this partnership with OEC, WBDC has been able to put millions of dollars in funding into the hands of child care providers throughout the state, enabling them to provide care and critical education to more of our state’s youngest residents. We are incredibly proud of the impact this grant program, along with the entrepreneurial education we are delivering to early childhood business owners, is having on these businesses.”
Since launching in 2020, the grant program has helped child care businesses create or maintain 1,965 jobs and 7,671 slots. After receiving a grant, 79% of 2022 grantees reported feeling more confident in accessing other capital, going on to secure an additional $1.96 million in funding. Further, over 63% of WBDC’s 2022 Start-up and Expansion Grant recipients have increased their revenues and profits.
In the last round of awards, the WBDC Child Care Business Opportunity Fund was able to provide 44 grants totaling $674,730 to Connecticut-based family homes, group homes, and child care centers.
“We are truly encouraged by the results of this program to date, and thrilled to be able to continue offering essential support to our state’s child care providers,” said OEC Commissioner Beth Bye. ”Our continued work with WBDC presents an opportunity to do so much more for these businesses that are pivotal to Connecticut families and the state’s economy.”
The Opportunity Fund grants are designed to help licensed and aspiring child care businesses grow, and feature a wide range of grant programs that relate to the different stages of a child care business, from start-ups to those ready to expand their business.
Grant programs offered through the Opportunity Fund:
- Start Up Grant Program: Up to $5,000 for family homes, $10,000 for group homes, and $25,000 for center for start-up and operating expenses; open to aspiring and licensed child care providers operating for less than 1 year
- Expansion Grant Program: Up to $25,000 to create slots, maximize enrollments, and/or create new revenue streams; open to licensed providers operating with enrolled children for 2+ years
- Emergency Facilities Grant Program: Up to $25,000 for urgent facilities projects to remain open and safe; open to licensed providers operating with enrolled children for 6+ months; rolling application with no deadline to apply
Please contact JoAnn Gulbin if you would like her to connect you with a child care grant recipient in your coverage area.
About the Women’s Business Development Council
The Women’s Business Development Council’s (WBDC) mission is to support economic prosperity for women and strengthen communities through entrepreneurial and financial education services that create and grow sustainable jobs and businesses across Connecticut. WBDC educates, motivates, and empowers women to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency. Since 1997, WBDC has educated and trained more than 17,000 clients in all of Connecticut’s 169 towns—helping women to launch, sustain and scale over 12,750 businesses, create and maintain over 27,500 jobs in Connecticut, and access more than $63 million in capital. Visit ctwbdc.org for more information.
About the OEC
The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) advances a two-generation family-centered approach in our pursuit of optimal health, safety, and learning outcomes for young children. Through our core programs, we support infant and toddler care, preschool, after-school care, child care and youth camp licensing, home visiting, and early intervention to address developmental delays. The OEC is working toward better coordinated, cost-effective services that support Connecticut’s youngest children and families.