Capacity Program

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services has awarded a contract to Children & Families First 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 supply 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 a.m., until a minimum of one hour after 6:00 p.m., and/or care needed on weekends);  
• Children who are English language learners;
• Children with special needs (defined as children with IEPs and/or IFSPs); and
• Infants and toddlers (defined as birth up to 36 months).  

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.  High needs areas are identified in the following: Wilmington River Area, Center City of Wilmington, Western Wilmington, Southern Kent, Southern Dover,  Georgetown area, Northern Sussex, Western Sussex, and Eastern Sussex.    Grant awards will include, but are not limited to: purchasing educational materials, funding to support quality assured professional development, classroom furnishings, or services that will improve efficiency in operations. Funding is not intended to be used to pay for construction or renovations.

Technical assistance may be provided upon request. The length of each visit and the number of visits will vary based on the need(s) being addressed. Technical assistance may be offered in such areas as:  fee schedules and cash management; personnel policies, staff evaluations, business and classroom management.

Eligibility Requirements
The Capacity Grant is available to licensed child care programs in all three counties of the state of Delaware.

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 (if enrolled in Delaware Stars) and other Capacity Grant partners;
• Must provide evidence of efforts to accommodate children with IEPs and/or IFSPs; and
• Must be enrolled and engaged in quality improvement efforts through the Delaware Stars Program, or willing to agree to complete an enrollment form for Delaware Stars prior to receiving grant resources.

All programs must complete an application, and provide a detailed plan indicating the need for funding that includes specifics on how the funding will be used, and how the improvements or enhancements will create slots or enhance ability to provide care for infants and toddlers, children with special needs, children who need care during non-traditional hours, and/or children who are English language learners.

2015 Capacity Grant Application Deadline Dates:
September 29, 2015 and November 17, 2015.  2016 Capacity Grant Application Deadline Date: Due to a high volume of requests for the Capacity Grant, we have extended our first application deadline for 2016 to March 15, 2016. Please check periodically for additional dates for 2016.

If you are interested in the assistance, please click here to complete the attached application.