Our Competitive Grants
The Child Care Innovation Fund collaborates with regional and community partners to pilot or scale up common-sense business and financing solutions for child care. Created in 2021 with a seed investment from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Fund invests in innovations designed to benefit employers, working families, child care business owners and early educators.
Subscribe to ECIC emails to get Child Care Innovation Fund updates.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our grant awards support organizations or partnerships of organizations to pilot a child care innovation which is designed to benefit an entire region and/or community of the state, not one individual child care business.
A cohort of driven innovators
Our first Child Care Innovation Awards provided nearly $1.0 million to fund unique solutions to Michigan’s child care shortage in five Michigan communities. We received 147 applications, from more than 50% of Michigan counties, requesting more than $23 million in support. Among this first cohort, awards range from $75,000 to $318,000 per community.
Expand child care businesses
Three of our 2021 awardees are working to make child care accessible in their own geographic areas.
A community-based approach to building the supply of quality child care in a child care desert, with a special focus on expanding access to infant-toddler care and to extended hours of care for working families.
A collaborative effort to scale up a county-based model that supports culturally and economically diverse eligible adults to successfully start and operate profitable home-based child care businesses, which provide infant and toddler and extended hours care for working families.
A coalition to build a supply-building hub in a child care desert that engages economic development entities and employers to support child care business development.
Newaygo County RESA and the Newaygo County Child Care Action Planning Team
Improve wages for the child care workforce
Two of our 2021 awardees have developed action plans that specifically address the child care workforce shortage, aiming to scale up programs in their own communities.
A partnership to scale up a neighborhood-based career pathway that creates full-time child care jobs with competitive wages and funds the completion of Child Development Associate (CDA) credentials in a community with a child care shortage.
A group to scale up an early educator registered apprenticeship program, which combines academic instruction with on-the-job training for which the apprentice is paid, in a community with low child care capacity.
Steepletown Neighborhood Services and a network of licensed child care providers