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Child Care Business Start-Up Grant Program

Child Care Business Start-Up Grant Program

WBDC is pleased to offer grants of up to $5,000 to qualified start-up child care businesses

Child Care Business Start-Up Grant Program

The Women’s Business Development Council is offering grants of up to $5,000 to qualified child care start-up businesses in Connecticut.

Are you almost a Connecticut licensed child care provider with the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC), or have you recently become licensed with OEC? Are you in need of funding to help cover some of your start-up operating costs? Then this WBDC Start-Up Grant may be right for you!

We will be offering one-time cash grants of up to $5,000 to help individuals in financial need become licensed and operating child care providers with the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC).  This grant program is designed to support aspiring, unlicensed, and newly licensed child care providers in need of financial assistance to cover start-up operating expenses.  It is open to those in process of becoming a licensed and operating family home (DCFH), group home (DCGH), or child care center (DCCC), and those operating as a family home, group home, or center with enrolled children for less than 6 months.

Make sure to read the Eligibility section below before beginning the process to apply. We also encourage you to watch the 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 childcarebusiness@ctwbdc.org for no-cost support with your start-up!

Learn About the Start-Up Grant Program

Click on the tabs for more information

  • Be one of the following:
    (1) Close to becoming licensed by OEC as a family home, group home, or center with location approved by CT Department of Public Health
    (2) Operating as an CT Office of Early Childhood (OEC) licensed family home, group, or center with enrolled children for less than 6 months *
  • Be pursuing a license or recently licensed as a provider with OEC for the first time
  • Have your initial OEC site inspection scheduled or completed
  • Be in good standing with the CT Department of Revenue Services (DRS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Have a financial need for support with start-up costs

Those that meet the above criteria are encouraged to apply.

*If this is the only criteria you do not meet in the above list, you may submit an Eligibility Review Request if you meet the following alternate criteria:

Licensed prior to September 1, 2021 but never had enrolled children due to specific reason

You may also 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. Prior recipients of a WBDC Start-up Grant.

2. Municipally run child care programs, license-exempt programs, licensed youth camps, are not eligible for WBDC grants due to limited funding and alternate opportunities.

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:

  • Sites already approved by OEC, including those newly operating
  • Serve or will serve infants and toddlers
  • Accept or plan to accept Care4Kids
  • Are or plan to be a for-profit business

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 

Click on the tabs for more information

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

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 containing application questions and a document checklist:
Download the 2022 Guide

What we’re looking for in an application:

  • Thoughtful, complete, and well-developed picture of your business and how it will succeed
  • Clear use of funds, with a strong link to getting your business going
  • Financial Projections reflect seasonality of business, and numbers make sense
  • Display the business’ potential for success
  • Slot creation and strong enrollment potential
  • Job creation potential, with the business being able to create jobs
  • Return on investment, that the funds will unlock growth
  • Grant will have a meaningful impact on the business and help the business grow

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 childcarebusiness@ctwbdc.org 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.

Additional Resources

Click on the tabs for more information

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. If you utilize QuickBooks or another digital system, you should use financial statements from there, instead of the WBDC templates.

Historical Financial Template (English/Spanish): 
Download in Excel / Save a copy in Google Sheets

Financial Projections Template (complete for 1 year only): 
Download in Excel / Save a copy in Google Sheets

Please use the links below to obtain your Letter of Good Standing for your business from CT Department of Revenue Services (DRS).

For Sole Proprietorships, Single-Member LLCs without a Tax ID #, or if your business is not yet operating, please obtain a letter at:
 Taxpayer Service Center (TSC) – Welcome Individual (ct.gov)

For business owners with a Business Tax ID #:
 –  Request your letter from the CT DRS myconneCT online center: 𝗺𝘆𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗖𝗧 (ct.gov)  –  Here is a tutorial to request: Requesting a Status Letter (of Good Standing) (ct.gov)
 –  If you run into challenges navigating myconneCT, call DRS at 877-729-6691.

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.

Grants are made possible through a partnership with the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC).