The most frequently asked question business advisors receive is about grants.
Montana Child Care Business Connect’s goal is to help child care providers understand what grants are and what they are not. Simply put, grants to for-profit entities, which are the vast majority of child care operators in Montana, are incentive reimbursements.
Grants are difficult to find because very few exist.
The primary financial incentive for child care operators to be aware of is the Childcare Provider Financial Assistance program through the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency serving your area.
If there is a grant for a for-profit childcare business, it will be:
- Is likely to have an annual application cycle
- Is specific to the type of use or location
- May require a public entity applicant partner
- Comes with significant reporting requirements
- If awarded, will reimbursed after the money is spent
Some general categories for which for-profit entities are eligible for grants include:
- Project planning and feasibility studies
- High wage job creation
- Training workers
- Energy efficiency or conservation
Most grants come from local, state, federal, and private sources so they vary greatly by location.
They are also highly unlikely to be renewable or ongoing and most come with hefty reporting requirements. In fact, some will require reporting in perpetuity.
While there are some very good programs worth considering, grants will not fund the operational costs of your child care business. That would be the benefit of participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and STARS to Quality.
Time is often best spent figuring out how to run a business more efficiently, with money generated through revenue.
– Jason Nitschke, Senior Child Care Business Advisor