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Navigating Childcare Grants and Other Funding Resources in West Virginia

Grants can provide extra funding to improve your childcare business. Learn about childcare grants in West Virginia and how to navigate the application process.

Navigating Childcare Grants and Other Funding Resources in West Virginia

Navigating Childcare Grants in West Virginia

With rising living costs and increasing demand for quality childcare, many providers are seeking financial assistance. Fortunately, various grants are specifically available for childcare providers in West Virginia. 

This comprehensive guide will walk you through securing these childcare grants, preparing for them, and the numerous resources available to help you succeed.

What is a grant?

A grant is a sum of money given by a government or organization for a particular purpose. Unlike loans, grants do not need to be repaid, making them an excellent resource for childcare providers looking to improve their services without incurring debt. 

Grants can come from federal, state, or local governments and private foundations. They are usually awarded based on specific criteria, such as the applicant's financial need, the project's potential impact, or the quality of the application.

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!

Teacher reading story to children in preschool

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Childcare grants in West Virginia

Navigating the landscape of available resources in West Virginia can be a daunting task for childcare providers. However, leveraging the right tools and information can significantly ease the process of securing grants and financial aid. This section aims to spotlight key resources designed to support childcare providers in West Virginia.

Grants and resources from government agencies

The West Virginia Department of Human Services is the lead agency that oversees the distribution of the federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) in West Virginia. 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.

West Virginia Department of Human Services

The West Virginia Division of Early Care and Education offers various initiatives to support the early education industry in the state, including programs to help families access care and resources tailored for providers: 

  • Child Care Tiered Reimbursement System: The Tiered Reimbursement System offers increased reimbursement rates for childcare providers who meet higher quality standards, encouraging continuous improvement and providing financial incentives to maintain high-quality care.
  • West Virginia Universal Pre-K: The WV Pre-K program provides funding and support to enhance pre-kindergarten programs, ensuring high-quality early education.
  • Child Care Assistance Program: This financial aid program helps eligible low-income families pay for child care and ensures steady enrollment and financial stability to providers.

Professional development support

Investing in professional development is crucial for maintaining high-quality childcare services. West Virginia offers several resources to help providers enhance their skills and knowledge. Some notable options include:

Early Care Share West Virginia

This platform offers a wealth of resources and support designed specifically for childcare providers in the state. Benefits to providers include access to a comprehensive library of early childhood education materials, cost savings, business management tools, and professional development opportunities.

WV Early Childhood Training Connections and Resources

WV Early Childhood Training Connections and Resources (WVECTCR) is a statewide initiative aimed at offering professional development for the early care and education sector. By utilizing a broad network of information, training, technical support, resources, and partnerships, WVECTCR seeks to enhance the quality of early learning services for young children and their families.

Grants from private foundations

Private foundation grants can provide the extra funding needed to launch special projects and enhance your services. Here are a few prominent foundations supporting organizations in West Virginia:

Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation

Grants from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation are awarded to organizations in West Virginia impacting education, including early childhood programs, economic development, health, and community development.

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 Grant and Tucker counties in West Virginia.

Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation focuses its grant making on priority areas such as education, health, community development, and the arts to enhance the quality of life in the region.

Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF)

PACF provides grants to support community-based projects in the Parkersburg area, with a focus on nonprofit capacity building, substance use disorder, child care, and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

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 West Virginia. 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.
  • Grants.gov: The Grants.gov 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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia. 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 can be a lifeline for childcare providers in West Virginia, offering financial support for various needs, from daily operations to professional development. By understanding the types of grants available and how to prepare a compelling application, you can secure the funding you need to enhance your services and positively impact the children in your care.

 

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 mybrightwheel.com.

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