CDHS offers grants to expand access and availability of licensed child care 

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DENVER (March 3, 2021) — The Colorado Department of Human Services' Office of Early Childhood (OEC) has announced the launch of the Emerging and Expanding Child Care Grant Program. During the special legislative session called by Gov. Jared Polis in November 2020, child care was recognized for the critical role it plays in supporting Colorado’s economy. Out of this recognition, the governor signed House Bill 20B-1002, which created two grant programs to support child care businesses. 
The first of these programs, announced Jan. 11, was the Child Care Relief Grant Program, which provided approximately $35 million to licensed child care providers to support their businesses. Now, the Emerging and Expanding Child Care Grant Program will provide $10 million to help licensed child care providers, or those actively pursuing a child care license, start or expand their businesses. This program will help create more licensed child care for Colorado families, especially those in child care deserts, or communities where there is a lack of child care supply.

“Licensed child care provides a safe, nurturing environment for children, the Emerging and Expanding Child Care Grant Program will provide much-needed support to child care providers across Colorado looking to expand or start their business,” said Mary Alice Cohen, director of OEC. “By increasing the availability of child care, especially in areas that lack  child care, more families will be able to return to work.” 

Eligible programs include:

  1. Currently open and operating licensed programs, serving children birth to 5, with a permanent or provisional license which are expanding their current licensed capacity; OR 
  2. An applicant actively pursuing a child care license through the Division of Early Care and Learning. This includes submitting an original application for new programs, or a request that increases capacity for existing programs. Programs that have not yet applied for a child care license are eligible, but will need to begin their child care license application before submitting a grant application. 

Programs that meet the criteria will be eligible for an Emerging and Expanding Child Care Grant award from $3,000 up to $50,000 in expenses related to the expansion of current capacity or the opening of a new child care program.

Those interested in receiving grant funds through the Emerging and Expanding Child Care Grant Program must complete the online application. Tips for completing a successful application may be found on the Office of Early Childhood’s Emerging and Expanding Child Care Grant Program webpage

Programs looking for assistance can contact their Early Childhood Council, licensing specialist or the Colorado Shines help desk at 1.844.447.4441.

Media contact:
Madlynn Ruble, Deputy Director of Communications