CHILD CARE CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAM
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What is a grant?
A: A grant is a monetary award that typically does not have to be paid back, unlike a loan. It is awarded through a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process, has specific application criteria and limited timeframe in which to spend the money. Unless terms of the contract are met once a grant is awarded, the funds may need to be returned or may never be allocated.
Q: What is the Child Care Capacity Building Grant?
A: The purpose of the Child Care Capacity Building Program is to increase the quality and supply of safe, healthy, appropriate child care services where shortages exist. The Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood (DIEEC) is seeking grant proposals for identified gaps in service areas: infants and toddlers, school-age youth, children with disabilities, non-traditional hours and mildly-ill children. Funds must be used to create, expand, or enhance the quality of programs, with an emphasis on serving low-income children. Programs must be licensed through the Office of Child Care Licensing, Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families.
Q: How many pages does the grant proposal need to be?
A: There is no minimum number of pages, but each applicant is required to respond to all sections of the RFP. The sections of the proposal must include the Proposal Cover Sheet, a Program Overview (organization capability, goals and objectives, description of program, recruitment, staffing, fee schedule), the Statements of Compliance, a Budget Summary, a Budget Narrative; and Personnel Summary (if applicable).
Q: What other documents are required for the proposal?
A: A copy of the program’s license from the Office of Child Care Licensing; Purchase of Care (POC) verification (contract, monthly statement or POC Portal document); job descriptions if you are requesting personnel costs are required; school agreement if the school-age program is located in a public or private school; and a recent audit or annual report if applicable.
Q: What if the program is preparing to open and has not been licensed yet?
A: If the program is in the process of becoming licensed and does not yet have a Purchase of Care contract, include that information your proposal along with a timeline for opening.
Q: Does the proposal have to be typed?
A: Yes, but the Proposal Cover Sheet (Form A), Statements of Compliance (Form B), Budget Summary (Form C) and Personnel Schedule (Form D) can be completed legibly and not typed.
Q: How many copies of the proposal should be submitted?
A: An original copy with signatures and one (1) copy.
Q: On the Proposal Cover Sheet (Form A), what does “Designate ONE application category” mean?
A: Grant funding can only be requested for ONE of the five categories that the Capacity Grant targets. Applicants must choose from one of the following categories: Infants and Toddlers, School-Age Youth, Children with Disabilities, Non-traditional hours, or Mildly Ill. The categories are defined as:
Infant and Toddler: children birth through 36 months, priority is given for services birth through 24 months, programs beginning at age 2 years are ineligible for funding under this category.
School Age Youth: serving youth from kindergarten through middle school, community-based or school-based, priority is given to full year programs. Programs providing only drop-in or tutoring only, are ineligible for funding under this category.
Children with Disabilities: children with identified needs, does not include “at risk” children due to economic status or family risk factors
Non-Traditional Hours: opening a minimum of one hour prior to 7 a.m., remain open a minimum of one hour after 6 p.m. and/or provide services on the weekends or holidays. Priority is given to programs that meet the needs of 2nd or 3rd shift working families.
Mildly Ill: as define by DelaCare Regulations
Q. What does “Funds requested will create ___# of new slots?
A. Note the number of new children the program will be able to serve because of the grant. For example, if the program is applying in the infant and toddler category and will be opening a new toddler room for six children, note “6” as the “# of new slots.” This only applies to programs applying as “New” or “Expansion.”
Q. What does “Program Capacity” mean?
A. The number refers to the maximum number of children/youth the program is allowed to serve at one time, according to the Office of Child Care Licensing, DelaCare regulations.
Q. What is an on-site assessment?
A. Once a program is awarded a contract, DIEEC staff will visit the program or classroom to observe for 3-4 hours and conduct an assessment using the appropriate Environment Rating Scale (ERS). The results will be shared with the program and used to finalize the grant purchases. The assessment will be repeated in approximately four months later.
Q: What if the center has three classrooms providing services for infants and toddlers?
A: The applicant will need to choose one room to focus the assessment and prioritize the funding on. Once all of the recommendations are completed, funds can be allocated to other classrooms in the same category.
Q: What is the required management workshop?
A: A pre-approved workshop is required to be completed by the program administrator or family child care provider; and is related to any of the business aspects of the program: fiscal management, human resource management, evaluation or operational management.
Q: How do I complete the “Revenue” chart on the Budget Summary Form?
A: List all estimated income for one year. If the program is new, estimate income using weekly or monthly estimates and multiply by 52 or 12, respectively. If the program estimates income not listed on the chart, include additional categories in the “Other” column. Total all estimates.
Q: How do I complete the “Expense” chart on the Budget Summary Form?
A: List all of the estimated expenses for one year, for each category (personnel, supplies/equipment, space, professional development) in the “Estimated Amount for One Year” column. Be sure to total the estimated expenses for the year. Under the column “Capacity Grant Request Amount”, note all expenses reflected in your grant request. For example, if you are applying in the Infant and Toddler category and asking for four cribs at $200 each, list $800 (the total amount) under “Supplies/Equipment”. If you are requesting $250 for professional development, list that figure under “Professional Development.” The total grant request would be $1,050. Be sure the “Total Grant Request” on the “Budget Summary Form” is the same amount you have requested on the “Proposal Cover Sheet (Form A)”.
Q: When does the Personnel Schedule (Form D) need to be completed?
A: If the program requests grant funds for personnel/staff, this form must be completed. Personnel funds can only be used for direct care and education staff who work directly with children. Personnel funds can be requested for up to three months and must be accompanied by a sustainability plan, i.e. how the program will continue paying for staffing once the grant funds have been spent. Personnel costs can only be requested for Large Family Child Care, Early Care and Education and School-Age Centers. A job description must be attached to the proposal for any position personnel funds are requested for. Personnel costs cannot be requested for administrative or support staff.
Q: What is a Budget Narrative?
A: The Budget Narrative is an explanation of each item requested through the Capacity Grant. For example, if the application category is School Age and the request is for $2,000 for “Supplies/Equipment”, the program would describe the intended purchases in the Budget Narrative: art supplies $300, board games $300, physical education materials $800, books $300 and computer software $300. Be sure the budget narrative amounts match the “Budget Summary” totals and the total on the “Proposal Cover Sheet.”
Q: How can a program stretch their funds?
A: Look for items locally to save on shipping and handling charges or order from companies who will waive the shipping and handling charges. Instead of purchasing a “Bye-Bye Buggie,” consider purchasing a double or triple stroller; instead of a large bookshelf, choose a bin or two for a quiet area; and instead of cubbies, try crates or hooks.
Q: Will the program be able to purchase everything requested?
A: The committee will try to honor all budget requests, but the final determination will be based on committee input and the needs of the program as assessed using the appropriate Environment Rating Scale (ERS). Each program will be assigned a Technical Assistant (TA) to work with the program using the ERS results. Some programs are funded at an amount less than the total requested and therefore are unable to purchase all items requested.
Q: How is it determined who is funded?
A: All complete proposals submitted by the application dates are considered for funding. The Review Committee will review all completed proposals and assign points according to the proposal components, the clarity of the proposal, geographic need, site visits and the funding available. The committee is composed of staff from the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood, Department of Health and Social Services, a Division of Social Services and Division of Management Services, Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, Office of Child Care Licensing, Department of Education, Early Development and Learning Resources, members of the business and early childhood communities.
Q: What is Delaware Stars for Early Success?
A: Delaware Stars for Early Success is a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). Once a program has been licensed and serving children for a minimum of one year and is in good standing with the Office of Child Care Licensing, the program is eligible to enroll. While participating in the Capacity Program, the Program Coordinator and TA will assist the family child care provider or center administrator with a quality improvement plan, based on the application category. Delaware Stars participating programs work on quality improvement plans for the entire program (all classrooms in a center and the entire program if family child care). While participating in Delaware Stars, programs will become more familiar with the Environment Rating Scales and work with a TA.
Q: What is the evaluation plan?
A: All programs awarded a grant are required to conduct an evaluation based on the goals and objectives identified in the proposal. Based on the grant award, was the program able to meet the goals and objectives? Was the program able to sustain their expansion (for example)? Were the recruitment strategies successful? Did the professional development support the program’s goals and objectives?