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Grants to Missouri Childcare Providers to Increase Access to Childcare Programs

Innovation Grant to Start-Up a New Child Care Program


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Office of Childhood, Missouri’s Early Care and Education (ECE)
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Geographic Focus
USA: Missouri

Important Dates
Deadline: 05/31/23 11:59 PM Save

Grant Description
Grants to Missouri childcare providers, in partnership with local businesses, nonprofit organizations, schools, institutions of higher education, government agencies, and community-based entities, to improve access to childcare programs. Funding is intended to open new, licensed childcare facilities. Grants may be used for equipment, renovations, workforce expenses, and more.

Grants may be used for:

  • Minor remodeling associated with licensing requirements  (e.g., flooring,  painting, sinks and toilets, doors and windows).
  • Outdoor equipment and fencing (e.g., playground equipment, resilient surfacing).
  • Child furniture and equipment (e.g.,child-sized tables, chairs, cubbies).
  • Materials and instructional supplies per the Equipment List Guide at: (e.g., dramatic play items,  manipulatives,  art supplies, books, science and sensory, blocks, music, and rhythm).
  • Sleeping equipment (e.g. cots, cribs, bedding materials).
  • Staff onboarding expenses (e.g. CPR/First Aid certification, background screening, safe sleep training).
  • Up to three months' staff salaries   (e.g., childcare provider,   director, assistant director, secretary/receptionist,  other staff involved in the direct care of children,  food preparation, staff, transportation staff).
  • Up to three months lease or rent.
  • Other items necessary to become licensed, as identified in the initial and follow-up inspection reports (e.g., fire and safety, health and sanitation).


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Eligible applicant: An entity whose location is in Missouri and who is opening a program in a location where a current child care program was not pursuing licensure as of December 1, 2022, and has not previously operated a licensed child care program in the location listed on the application.

DESE seeks to increase access to childcare programs in partnership with a business or community partner. The term “business or community partner” shall be an entity (e.g., public or private schools, colleges, and universities; hospitals; municipalities; non-profit agencies; and private businesses) located in Missouri within 20 miles from the location of the new childcare program

The applicant (provider) must be the person or entity applying that has filed the Application for a License.

Pre-Application Information
The deadline to apply is May 31, 2023, by 11:59 PM.

Once awarded, payments will be made to the child care provider based on the matching funds or in-kind contributions from the business or community partner and three required licensing activities: completing the initial inspection, obtaining a child care license, and completing the post-licensing inspection.

Application information:

Estimated Size of Grant
The amount of funding is dependent upon the facility capacity, traditional and/or non-traditional hours of operation, and a commitment in matching funds or in-kind contributions to support the new childcare program. For maximum amounts, see Page 2 of the application in Supporting Documents, below.

Term of Contract
The grant period for this funding opportunity is the date of the awarded application through September 30, 2024.

The provider agrees to take all reasonable steps to maintain a license to operate a childcare facility for three (3) years after the end of the grant period of September 30, 2024

Contact Information
Apply online:

Or email the completed form to:

Or mail to:
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Office of Childhood
P.O. Box 480
Jefferson City, MO 65102

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