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Capacity Grant Program

Grants and In-Kind Support to Delaware Licensed Childcare
Programs to Expand and Improve Services in Low-Income Areas

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Children and Families First

Deadline Date:

01/17/20 Noon Receipt


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Grants and in-kind technical assistance to Delaware licensed childcare programs to improve or expand childcare programs in eligible low-income areas. Funding is intended to support programs that serve infants and toddlers, children with special needs, English language learners, or for programs that provide childcare during non-traditional hours.

The project will seek to expand or enhance care that is safe, healthy, and appropriate, with an emphasis on serving low-income children in high needs areas. Eligible high needs areas may be seen here:

The goal of the grant program is to provide quality improvement technical assistance strategies and grant resources to licensed child care programs to increase the supply of child care in areas where it is limited. 

The Capacity Grant awards are intended to provide resources that will enhance the quality of care in programs, and build the availability of child care that are in limited supply in one or all of the following areas: 

  • Children who need care during non-traditional hours (defined as care needed a minimum of one hour prior to 7:00 AM, until a minimum of one hour after 6:00 PM, and/or care needed on weekends)
  • Children who are English language learners;
  • Children with special needs (defined as children with an IFSP, IEP, 504 and/or a behavioral or mental health plan as outlined by a specialist);
  • Infants and toddlers (defined as birth up to 36 months).

Programs must accept POC ( Purchase of Care) and meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be in a designated high needs area (see section below) AND have at least 50% POC enrollment, OR
  • If located outside a designated high needs area the program must have at least 75% POC enrollment.

For details regarding Funding Priorities, see:

Materials and other resources provided to programs will be required to meet Delaware Stars standards and Environment Rating Scales (ERS) indicators. Funds will be based on a program’s total capacity and service to children with high needs.

Eligible materials and resources can be seen here:

Technical Assistance: Each program that submits an application will be assigned a Capacity Grant Technical Assistant (TA). Technical assistance may be offered in areas such as (but not limited to): inventorying of new materials; administrative policies and general business management; staff retention and performance management; classroom management. For more details, see

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180613

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Capacity Grant is available to licensed child care programs in all three counties of the state of Delaware. The child care program must be actively participating in Delaware Stars.

In order to be considered for funding, child care programs:
- Must have a valid annual license issued by the Office of Child Care Licensing with no current enforcement actions;
- Must accept Purchase of Care (POC) through a contract with the Division of Social Services. (A copy of the attendance record will be required to be used as verification).
- Must be in good standing with CACFP, POC, Delaware Stars and other Capacity Grant partners. Standings reports are gathered by Capacity Grant staff from all involved partner agencies. Poor standings can result in deferral or denial of the Capacity Grant application.
- Must provide evidence of efforts to accommodate children with IFSPs, IEPs, 504 and/or behavioral or mental health plans; and
- Must be enrolled and engaged in quality improvement efforts through the Delaware Stars Program, prior to receiving grant resources. Engagement must be Star-Level appropriate per Delaware Stars Letter of Expectations and Partnership Agreements.
- Must not have been approved for Capacity Grant funds within the prior 24 months (time period is calculated based on Advisory Committee approval dates)—check with Capacity Grant Program Manager or TA with any questions.

Funding is not intended to be used to pay for construction or renovations.

Pre-Application Information:

The next Application Deadline Dates:

- Friday, October 11, 2019 by noon
- Friday, January 17, 2020 by noon

(Additional deadlines for 2020 will be announced)

Applications can be delivered in person to one of the Children and Families First offices, faxed, emailed or received by mail no later than noon on the day of the deadline.

For multiple program sites, one application per site is required.

On-site technical assistance (TA) by one of the Capacity Grant TAs is highly recommended prior to submitting the application, in order to support a program throughout their application process. Programs should contact the Capacity Grant Program Manager to make arrangements for TA prior to submitting their application.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Applications can be sent as follows:

Attention: Andrea Prettyman, Capacity Grant
Children & Families First
91 Wolf Creek Blvd, Suite 1
Dover, DE 19901

Fax: (855) 295-5331

Applications can be hand-delivered to one of the Children & Families First offices:

Attention: Andrea Prettyman, Capacity Grant
- New Castle County: 809 Washington St., Wilmington, DE
- Kent County: 91 Wolf Creek Blvd, Suite 1, Dover, DE
- Sussex County: 410 S. Bedford St, Georgetown, DE

Call 302-389-7268 to learn more or to request a meeting with a Capacity Grant TA.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Delaware