PITTSBURGH, PA (July 1, 2021) The City of Pittsburgh has announced the launch of their Childcare Quality Fund, which will allow licensed childcare centers in the city to apply for grant funding for facility and program improvements. The funding will allow childcare facilities to implement strategic investments that can help improve their state Keystone STARS quality rating while minimizing incurred debt.
The total funding for the program is $2 million and childcare businesses and non-profits are eligible to apply for funding based on their size. Family and group childcare homes are eligible for up to $12,500; childcare centers licensed for under 100 children are eligible for up to $25,000; and centers licensed for over 100 children are eligible for up to $50,000.
Expenses eligible under the Childcare Quality Fund include facility improvements such as roof, window, HVAC, plumbing, flooring replacements, mold and lead testing and remediation, safety infrastructure like fire suppression systems, sprinklers and security cameras/systems, playground surfacing or equipment and fencing installation, repairs and retrofitting facilities to expand capacity.
Childcare centers can also apply for program improvement expenses like curriculum materials, child assessment instruments, professional development, literacy, gross motor, art, STEM or dramatic play materials, child-sized furniture, child safety materials, hand washing sinks and other health and safety materials.
The launch of the fund comes just after the City announced the Childcare Reinvestment Business Fund (CRiB), administered by Invest PGH with generous funding from the PNC Foundation. This pilot program will provide loans between $5,000 and $20,000 for childcare businesses to assist with working capital expenses like payroll, enrollment subsidies, leasehold improvements, software, and other eligible business operations expenses.
Childcare businesses are able to apply for assistance from both programs as the funding is specified for different uses. The main difference is that the Childcare Quality Fund grants are to be used to improve the quality of services and facilities while CRiB loans are to be used to pay for business operations. Additional information for both programs is available here.
The Childcare Quality Fund was developed in partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Equity, Pittsburgh City Council Women’s Caucus, Early Learning Resource Center Region 5, Allegheny County, Trying Together and the Alliance for Infants & Toddlers. Applications for the program will be managed by Trying Together and are available here.