$2.5 million in grants available for existing child care programs

ALTON – Birth to Five Illinois is a statewide effort that aims to bring local residents together to meet early childhood needs within their own communities and now offers implementation grant opportunities to local early childhood collaborations.

By “collaboration,” Birth to Five Illinois refers to the collaborative process of stakeholders coming together to discuss issues in their community using systems thinking approaches to identify problems, root causes and solutions, said Angela Hubbard. of Birth to Five Illinois, grants and relationship manager. The $2.5 million implementation grants are for organizations already working on child care to improve early learning systems. The deadline for applying for the grant is August 5.

An early childhood collaboration as a formalized group of stakeholders working together to improve their local early childhood system. This is not a grant for individual child care providers, homes or centers, who, if interested, can visit the Strengthen and Grow Child Care Grants program at https:/ /www.ilgateways.com/financial-opportunities/strengthen-and-grow-child-care-grants and is not administered by Birth to Five Illinois.

Birth to Five Illinois offers a $2.5 million grant opportunity, plus resources and support, available for local collaborations across the state of Illinois. Its goal is to ensure that this funding reaches the collaborations and areas of early childhood where it will have the greatest impact.


Birth to Five Illinois intends to achieve its goals by raising the voices of families and providers to improve early childhood programs in Illinois. More than one Early Years Collaborative can apply for a grant together. Partnering on an app is encouraged if the collaborations serve the same or overlapping geographies or populations.

“Birth to Five Illinois seeks to generate funding in areas that have been historically neglected by prioritizing communities with high numbers of children living in poverty, households with limited English proficiency, and areas with a high Social Vulnerability Index (SVI), among other indicators,” Hubbard said.

Birth to Five Illinois will award $2.5 million in implementation grants to existing local early childhood collaborations. The first phase of grant funding is closely tied to the Governor’s focus on resuming and increasing enrollment in early childhood education and care (ECEC) programs and services, as there are had significant declines in enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BTFEnglish to apply in English. Spanish language, to print an application and other accommodations for applicants, go to https://static1.squarespace.com/static/61ba6b3017614378f01ce468/t/629f7c935023d67f2dc6a015/1654619283394/Birth+to+Five+Illinois+Early+ Childhood+Collaboration+ Funding+Grant+Application_Downloadable+PDF.pdf or email [email protected]

The maximum grant amount is $80,000; the average expected amount is $70,000.

An additional $500,000 in planning grants to help groups develop new local collaborations will be available this fall.

“Planning grants should help start new collaborations,” Hubbard said.

Implementation grant details:

• Up to $80,000 per collaboration for Year 1 with the option to apply for renewal funding for two additional years. Renewals and renewal amounts are dependent on funding.

The applicant must provide matching funds:

– Year 1 — 10% can be in kind and/or cash

– Year 2 (if renewed) — 20%, of which 10% can be in kind

– Year 3 (if renewed) — 25%, of which 5% can be in kind

Existing local early childhood collaborations should use these grant funds for strategies to increase enrollment in ECEC programs and services.

A selection committee reviews and scores all completed submissions. Grants will be given in priority to collaborations serving: young children living in poverty, children of color, households with limited English proficiency, areas of high social vulnerability (as determined by the Vulnerability Index or SVI) and areas designated as high risk according to the Illinois Home Visiting: 2020 Statewide Needs Assessment Update Report to the Health Resources and Services Administration.

The Social Vulnerability Index is a measure that was created to identify areas that would struggle to recover from a major disaster, such as a major flood. The SVI uses factors related to poverty, lack of access to transport and overcrowded housing to determine social vulnerability.

Examples of eligible expenses include (but are not limited to): staffing, coordinated intake and orientation systems, reimbursement of mileage for staff, convening of stakeholders, and translation.

Eligibility and requirements include that the candidate must be Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) certified, as per Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) requirements; an established early childhood collaboration in Illinois, which may be at a hyperlocal to multi-county level (i.e. areas served may include neighborhoods, cities, counties/counties); a legal entity and have the capacity to serve and implement public funds; in good standing with the state of Illinois; have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI);

Applicants are not required to hold 501(c)(3) status.

Ineligible are recipients of the All Our Kids Network and child care resource and referral agencies.

Birth to Five Illinois’ mission is to create a statewide regional infrastructure that will amplify the input of communities in shaping policy and funding priorities. The organization mobilizes communities to build and sustain equitable access to inclusive, high-quality early childhood services for all children and families in the state.

Birth to Five’s vision is described as reimagining a more equitable early childhood education and care (ECEC) system that ensures the voice of family and community is centered and prioritized at all levels of decision-making. ruling in Illinois. Its values ​​and goals include:

• Family voice: Through this transformation centered on authentic family and community engagement, we will address the inequitable distribution of resources and services and rebuild our state’s early ECEC systems.

• Racial Equity: In an effort to move state ECEC systems toward one where race is no longer a predictor of a child’s success, barriers that limit access to child care services high quality for minority children in all corners of the state will be eliminated.

• Collective impact: Birth to Five Illinois aims to build a system that leverages knowledge directly from families and engages decision-makers to ensure new and/or expanded services are created to meet community needs and directly influence policy /funding at local, regional and state level.

Visit https://www.birthtofiveil.com/grants for resources and more information.

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