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Navigating Childcare Grants and Other Funding Resources in Louisiana

Grants offer a vital source of financial support for childcare providers. Learn about childcare grants in Louisiana and steps to take when applying for funding.

Navigating Childcare Grants and Other Funding Resources in Louisiana

Navigating Childcare Grants in Louisiana

The childcare industry in Louisiana, like much of the United States, faces unique challenges. From funding operations and services to upgrading facilities and investing in professional development, childcare providers carry a significant responsibility in shaping the early years of children's lives.

Fortunately, numerous grants are available to support these essential services. This comprehensive guide is designed to help childcare providers in Louisiana understand the types of grants available, where to find them, and how to prepare a successful application.

What is a grant?

A grant is a sum of money given by the government, foundations, or other entities to fund a particular project or service. Unlike loans, grants do not need to be repaid, making them highly sought after. For childcare providers, grants can offer the financial support needed to enhance their programs, facilities, and staff training, ultimately benefiting the children they serve.

The U.S. government’s second and final funding package for fiscal year 2024 includes a $1 billion increase for programs focused on child care and early childhood education¹. This new funding includes an additional $275 million for the Head Start program and $725 million for the Child Care and Development Block Grant which funds state efforts to provide child care to families and improve the quality of care. 

Download a free grant writing guide for childcare programs here!

Childcare grants in Louisiana

In Louisiana, several resources are dedicated to helping childcare providers access the grants they need. These resources offer information on various types of grants, from federal to state-specific opportunities.

Grants and resources from government agencies

The Louisiana Department of Education is the lead state agency that oversees the distribution of the federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) in Louisiana. This funding can be in the form of certificates, grants, or contracts to provide childcare services to low-income families or improve the quality of care provided.

Louisiana Department of Education

The Louisiana Department of Education funds various programs aimed at improving the quality of early childhood education. Providers in Louisiana can take advantage of the below resources:

  • Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP): CCAP provides financial assistance to low-income families to pay for child care. For childcare providers, participating in CCAP increases enrollment opportunities by making childcare more affordable for families and ensures a steady income stream from the program's subsidies. 
  • 8(g) Student Enhancement Block Grant Program: Managed by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, this grant focuses on enriching educational opportunities and facilities for pre-K through 12th grade. It aims to fund innovative programs that improve student academic achievement, including initiatives within early childhood education settings.
  • Nonpublic Schools Early Childhood Development Program: This program offers grants specifically for nonpublic (private) schools in Louisiana that provide early childhood programs. It supports the enhancement of educational quality and accessibility in these settings, targeting improvements in curriculum, teacher training, and learning materials. 
  • Education Excellence Fund (EEF): The EEF is specifically aimed at supporting educational programs for pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade in the state, including early childhood education programs that prepare at-risk children for school. 

Teacher with children in preschool classroom.Source

Professional development support

Investing in professional development is essential for maintaining high standards of care and education in childcare services. In Louisiana, opportunities can be found through:

Louisiana Early Childhood Association (LAECA)

This association offers scholarships and grants for current and aspiring early childhood educators who are members of LAECA. These scholarships can be used for attending conferences, furthering education, or participating in professional development activities, with the goal of improving knowledge and skills in the field of early childhood education.

Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Agencies

These agencies serve as a bridge between childcare providers and the community, offering a wide range of services that benefit both educators and families. For providers, they offer invaluable assistance in the form of training, professional development opportunities, and help with navigating the process of finding and applying for grants.

Louisiana Geaux Teach Scholarship Program

This program offers scholarships to current and prospective educators in Louisiana who are enrolled in a teacher preparation program. The scholarship aims to address the teacher shortage by providing financial support to individuals pursuing a teaching certification or degree.

Grants from private foundations

While navigating the landscape of financial support, childcare providers in Louisiana have access to various private foundations beyond government agencies. Key players include:

Baton Rouge Area Foundation

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF) offers competitive grants to support projects that have a strong potential to improve the quality of life in the Baton Rouge area and beyond. These grants focus on a wide range of areas including arts and culture, education, the environment, and human services, with a keen interest in initiatives that benefit children and young learners. 

Entergy Charitable Foundation

The Entergy Charitable Foundation is focused on improving communities through investments in areas of arts and culture, education and workforce development, poverty solutions and social services, healthy families, and community improvement. Their Open Grants program funds local organizations in areas served by Entergy that are committed to enhancing the quality of life for residents.

The Frost Foundation

The Frost Foundation offers grants that aim to enhance the health, education, and well-being of the underserved populations in Louisiana, including support for childcare and early learning initiatives.

Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation

The Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation concentrates on improving the quality of life for Louisiana's citizens in various fields including education, healthcare, and human services, with special attention to projects that aid children.

The Orchard Foundation

The Orchard Foundation's School Readiness initiative provides targeted support and resources for teachers working in early childhood education. Through professional development programs, curriculum resources, and direct support in instructional strategies, the Orchard Foundation aims to equip teachers with the tools needed to ensure that all children enter school ready to succeed, emphasizing the importance of foundational skills in the early years.

Federal grants and funding opportunities

The federal government offers a variety of grants and funding opportunities to support childcare providers across the United States, including Louisiana. These grants are designed to improve access to quality childcare, support the professional development of childcare workers, and enhance the learning environments for children under their care. Some key federal funding sources include:

U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) offers discretionary grants that are awarded using a competitive process, as well as student loans or grants to attend college, and formula grants determined by Congress. Here are some helpful resources to explore:

  • ED grants homepage: The ED grants homepage allows you to browse funding opportunities, links to grant applications, and your eligibility status.
  • The website is the central location that provides information on grants across the federal government. You can search for and apply to different funding opportunities, determine your eligibility, and access grant writing tips. 
  • Head Start and Early Head Start Programs: Aimed at promoting school readiness for children under five from low-income families, these programs provide grants directly to public and private non-profit and for-profit agencies to provide comprehensive child development services. The Office of Head Start (OHS) posts notices of funding opportunities (NOFOs) that seek applications for grand funds. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) manages various financial assistance programs for rural applications. One example is the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program that provides funds to be used to purchase, construct and/or improve essential community facilities like childcare centers, purchase equipment, and pay related project expenses in rural areas with no more than 20,000 residents.

Applying for grants

Applying for childcare grants in Louisiana can be a competitive process, as funding is often limited. To increase your chances of receiving a grant, it’s essential to carefully review and follow all application guidelines and requirements. Here are some general steps to take when applying for childcare grants:

  • Meet all licensing requirements: Ensure that your program meets all of the licensing requirements in Louisiana. Maintaining licensing compliance shows a commitment to high-quality standards and is often also required for you to be eligible for specific grants and funding opportunities.
  • Do your research and determine your eligibility: Research available grants and determine which ones align with your needs and goals. Before applying, check to see that you meet all the necessary criteria. Most (but not all) government grants are aimed at 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, so be sure to read the eligibility requirements carefully.
  • Gather your documentation: Most grant applications will ask for specific documentation, such as financial statements, demographic information, licenses, and certifications. Be sure to have these prepared in advance. With brightwheel you can quickly and easily access custom reporting to meet your specific needs.
  • Write a compelling grant proposal: Read successful grant applications to learn how to structure your approach. Include an executive summary of your project and clearly define the need or problem your childcare services address. Provide a detailed description of your program and list your objectives and expected outcomes. Follow all grant application instructions, have someone else review your proposal before submitting, and submit your application on time. 

Download a free grant writing guide for childcare programs here!


Additional tips for success

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when applying for grants for your childcare center:

  • Stay informed: Connect and engage with local and state organizations focused on early childhood education. If possible, join their email lists or follow their social media pages, as these organizations will often share grant and funding information as it becomes available. Also, regularly check the websites of federal agencies to stay informed on available grants or programs. 
  • Create a budget: A comprehensive childcare center budget will highlight the financial needs and priorities of your program and give funders a clear understanding of how a grant will be utilized. With a clear picture of your program’s finances, you can also maximize the impact of any funding that is received.
  • Plan a fundraiser: Hosting a fundraising event can raise necessary funds for your program. Have a bake sale, organize a silent auction, or host a trivia night. 
  • Hire a grant proposal writer: If your budget allows, consider hiring a grant proposal writer. A grant proposal writer can craft a compelling narrative about your program and navigate the complexities of the grant application process for you.

Final thoughts

Grants offer a vital source of financial support for childcare providers in Louisiana, enabling you to continue offering quality care and education to children. By understanding the types of grants available, knowing where to look, and preparing a compelling application, you can unlock new opportunities to enhance your program and make a positive impact on the lives of children and families.


1. “Former Preschool Teacher Patty Murray Delivers $1 Billion More to Help Families Find and Afford Child Care & Pre-K”, United States Senate Committee on Appropriations, 03/21/2024.

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