banner svg (1)

Navigating Childcare Grants and Other Funding Resources in Massachusetts

Grants provide essential financial assistance for childcare providers. Discover childcare grants in Massachusetts and learn the steps to apply for funding.

Navigating Childcare Grants and Other Funding Resources in Massachusetts

Navigating Childcare Grants in Massachusetts

In the state of Massachusetts, childcare providers play a pivotal role in shaping the early years of our youngest learners. Recognizing the challenges and costs associated with providing quality care, numerous grants are available to support these vital services.

In this article, we outline the available childcare grants in Massachusetts, how to access them, and how to prepare a compelling application.

What is a grant?

A grant is a financial award given by an entity (often a government agency, corporation, or foundation) to a recipient to fulfill a specific purpose or project. Unlike loans, grants do not need to be repaid, making them an invaluable resource for childcare providers looking to enhance their services or facilities without the burden of additional debt.

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 Massachusetts

Massachusetts recognizes the importance of quality childcare and offers a variety of resources to support providers in their mission. Here’s a breakdown of the types of grants available and where to find them.

Grants and resources from government agencies

The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care is the lead state agency that oversees the distribution of the federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) in Massachusetts. 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.

Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care

The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) offers several financial assistance grants aimed at supporting childcare providers. These grants can help cover operational costs, purchase necessary equipment, and ensure that childcare services remain accessible and affordable for families:

  • Commonwealth Cares for Children (C3) Grant: The C3 grant assists in covering operational costs, such as payroll, rent, and utilities, to ensure that providers can continue to offer essential services to families and children. Funding has been proposed to continue in 2025.
  • Early Education and Out of School Time (EEOST) Capital Fund: These capital grants provide critical funding for the major renovation and construction of early education and out of school time facilities that serve low income children in Massachusetts.
  • Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative (CPPI): This program supports the expansion of high-quality preschool opportunities in underserved areas by creating partnerships between school districts and local early education providers. 

Two girls playing music with tambourinesSource

Professional development support

Investing in the professional development of childcare staff is essential for maintaining high-quality early education. Massachusetts supports this through grants aimed at training and education. 

The Early Childhood Educators Scholarship

The Early Childhood Educators Scholarship is a financial aid program funded by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the Department of Higher Education (DHE), specifically designed to support current and aspiring early childhood educators. The scholarship helps cover the costs of tuition and fees for those pursuing associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees in early childhood education or a related field. 

Early Childhood Career Pathways Programs

Through this initiative, community colleges in Massachusetts provide free academic services to educators, including coursework, textbooks, tutoring, mentoring, technology and other student support services. The program aims to build a skilled and diverse workforce dedicated to providing high-quality education and care to children across the state. 

Grants from private foundations

In addition to government programs, private foundations in Massachusetts offer grants to support childcare providers. Researching local foundations and their grant-making focus can uncover additional funding opportunities.

Amelia Peabody Foundation

Known for its broad philanthropic outreach in Massachusetts, the Amelia Peabody Foundation focuses its grant-making efforts on improving the well-being and education of children. This includes providing support for preschool through secondary education enrichment programs and capacity building.

Cabot Family Charitable Trust

This trust offers grants for programs that directly benefit children and families, with particular interest in early education and child development projects.

Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation

Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation distributes grants in four focus areas (human needs, environmental stewardship, education, community vitality) to organizations within geographic areas where Dominion Energy provides electricity or natural gas service, including Massachusetts.

Highland Street Foundation

This philanthropic organization aims to enrich the lives of families and children across Massachusetts, supporting projects and initiatives that promote access to high-quality education, including in early childhood. 

The PNC Foundation

Through its Grow Up Great initiative, the PNC Foundation supports early childhood education efforts, offering grants to providers for curriculum development, teacher training, and classroom resources in Massachusetts and beyond.

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 Massachusetts. 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 Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts. 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

Childcare providers in Massachusetts have several avenues for financial support through grants aimed at enhancing the quality and accessibility of childcare services. By understanding what grants are available, preparing thoroughly, and aligning with the goals of grant makers, providers can secure the resources needed to make a lasting impact on the children and families they serve.


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.

Brightwheel is the complete solution for early education providers, enabling you to streamline your center’s operations and build a stand-out reputation. Brightwheel connects the most critical aspects of running your center—including sign in and out, parent communications, tuition billing, and licensing and compliance—in one easy-to-use tool, along with providing best-in-class customer support and coaching. Brightwheel is trusted by thousands of early education centers and millions of parents. Learn more at

Subscribe to the brightwheel blog