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Keep the Lights On Grants

Through Keep the Lights On, a total of $272,500 has been awarded to 76 family child care homes and child care centers/school-age programs.

On behalf of the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance, Executives Partnering to Invest in Children, Healthy Child Care Colorado, Mile High United Way, and The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, we are pleased to announce a total of $272,500 was awarded 76 family child care homes and child care centers/school-age programs awarded grants through Keep the Lights On – a collaborative effort to provide direct financial investments to child care providers to cover COVID-19-related expenses like paying staff, rent, cleaning supplies, health consultation, and other costs.

We want to acknowledge the generous support of the Buell Foundation, Caring for Colorado Foundation, the Gates Family Foundation, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, and Mile High United Way, and several other philanthropic partners and individuals who made this effort possible.

While we celebrate these providers receiving grants, we want to acknowledge the overwhelming need greatly outweighed the resources available; therefore very difficult decisions were made. Almost 500 applications were submitted totaling over $3M in requests; unfortunately several deserving programs with highly competitive applications were declined. Grant reviewers and partners utilized the following criteria to further prioritize the following high-scoring programs: 1) High percentage of high-needs children served; 2) Communities with a lack of access to licensed child care; and 3) Geographic distribution between urban, rural, and frontier regions. Child care centers/school-age programs were eligible for up to $12,000 each, depending on licensed capacity; family child care homes were eligible for up to $2,500. Please join us in celebrating the following child care providers!

This financial investment directly in child care programs follows an unprecedented collaboration with the partners listed above, in addition to the Colorado Department of Human Services and Gary Community Investments, to distribute cleaning supplies to 1,200 providers statewide. Every program is taking unprecedented steps to “keep the lights on” and we stand in awe of your commitment to our state’s youngest learners. We will be sure to keep you informed of any future opportunities through Keep the Lights On. In the meantime, we would like to share some additional resources that may be helpful to you:

Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) Facilities Improvement Grant Opportunity
Healthy Child Care Colorado Capital Improvement Grants
Energize Colorado Gap Fund
Colorado COVID Relief Fund
Colorado Office of Early Childhood Information on COVID Relief Efforts

“Keep the Lights On” Partners

COVID-19 shined a spotlight on the fragility of the early care and education sector.

Prior to the pandemic, child care providers – the vast majority being women and people of color – operated on razor-thin margins to meet fixed costs like paying staff, rent, mortgage, and utilities. Those challenges have intensified. In the early days of the pandemic, a national survey showed that nearly 90% of providers expressed doubt in staying operational without any kind of support. With 400,000 children in Colorado under the age of 6 and licensed capacity of 151,000 slots, we need to ensure Colorado providers are able to stabilize during the pandemic and beyond.
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