Choice Bank > #PeopleFirst

Child Care
Grant Program

Bettering the places we live begins with supporting our local child care facilities.

Child playing with camera

Child care services are vital to supporting the families and economies of our rural communities. However, barriers to funding and lack of resources make it difficult for child providers facilities to remain successful.

The demand for child care services far exceeds the current capacity of licensed child care providers in North Dakota. According to Child Care Aware ND, there are 120,371 children potentially needing care in North Dakota, yet the licensed child care capacity statewide is only 36,529.

This grant program will provide financial assistance to rural child care facilities in North Dakota so they can continue providing their community with care and education for our children. Licensed child care providers are eligible for this grant, whether you provide in-home child care services or operate a child care center. Please review the eligibility requirements below to ensure you qualify for the grant.

We encourage licensed child care providers to utilize this grant opportunity to support their facility’s start-up costs, replacement or expansion costs, and one-time operating expenses.

Block Tower

 

Grant Program Details

For a complete overview of the Choice Bank Child Care Grant Program, download the program guidelines document here.

Start-Up Support

Support of costs associated with establishing a new child care facility

Replacement or Expansion Costs

Support costs to expand new or existing facilities, renovate the facility, purchase new or replace/repair equipment, etc.

One-time Operating Expenses

Funding of one-time expenses to support standard operating costs. Examples include training for staff, one-time hiring bonuses, one-time contributions to employees’ Health Savings Accounts, etc.

Applicants for Choice Bank Child Care Grants Must:
  • Be licensed by the state of North Dakota. New facilities must have a pending application.
  • New facilities must be prepared to open within 6 months.
  • Be based in and primarily serve families in the following counties: Burleigh, Cass, Cavalier, Dickey, Grand Forks, Kidder, LaMoure, Mercer, Pembina, Stark, Stutsman, or Walsh.
  • The facility is in a community with a population of less than 10,000.
  • Demonstrate general fiscal responsibility and agree to use the grant funds to further the quality of care provided to its children and families served. Facilities must be in good financial standing with no tax liens, judgments, etc.
  • Funds may be used for reimbursement of a prior completed project (completed within the calendar year of your application) or can be used to pay for a planned project to take place no later than 12 months after your grant is awarded.
  • Submit a complete and accurate application providing all requested information by the stated deadline.

The Child Care Grant is currently limited to rural North Dakota facilities to support communities with the greatest need. Many of North Dakota’s smaller communities are faced with a decline in childcare availability, posing significant challenges for working families and their local economy.

Process
  • You may apply for grants in the amount of $75 to $10,000.
    • Special financing options may be available for projects that exceed $10,000 requested by 501(c)(3) organizations. Please contact your local Choice Bank for more information about additional low-rate financing with payment assistance provided through the Child Care Grant Program.
  • You will be asked to supply supporting documentation with your online application, including, but not limited to:
    • Facility license information
    • Receipts, bids, or other documentation for the requested project
    • Proof of payment, if seeking reimbursement
  • The grant review panel consists of individuals from Choice Bank. Preference will be given to facilities that meet one or more of the following criteria (if your facility does not meet any of the following, it does not prevent you from qualifying for a grant):
    • Facility serves families that qualify for a Child Care Assistance Program
    • Facility is on a food program
    • Facility has tax-exempt status
    • Start-up/New Facility
Grand Award Information
  • Awards will be announced and/or granted in three rounds throughout 2022.
  • Successful applicants will receive a Grant Agreement to execute.
  • The grant period is for 12 months from the date of notification.
  • Upon receipt of the executed Grant Agreement, Choice Bank will issue the grant award.
  • Documentation of completion must be submitted within 30 days of project completion.
  • If the project is not completed by the expected date, the grantee must request (and receive) an extension prior to the original completion date or return the funds.
  • For grants over $2,500, the child care facility must remain in operation for no less than 12 months from the initial grant date.

Application Deadlines

We are accepting applications in three rounds throughout the year. You are welcome to apply in any and all rounds.

Round 1

  • Application Deadline: May 1
  • Notification of Application Status: By May 31

Round 2

  • Application Deadline: July 1
  • Notification of Application Status: By July 29

Round 3

  • Application Deadline: November 1
  • Notification of Application Status: By November 30

 

Child Care Grant Application Period Has Closed

The 2022 Round 1 Choice Bank Child Care Grant application period has closed for 2022. Stayed tuned for information on the next round of grant funding coming in 2023.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why program is limited to North Dakota?

The Child Care Grant is currently limited to rural North Dakota facilities to support communities with the greatest need. Many of North Dakota’s smaller communities are faced with a decline in childcare availability, posing significant challenges for working families and their local economy.

When will I know if I’ve received a Child Care Grant?

We will be granting funding in three rounds this year. Applicants will be notified of whether their grant was accepted or denied no later than May 31 for Round 1, July 29 for Round 2, and November 30 for Round 3.

How much am I eligible to receive?

Each facility is limited to receiving $10,000 in grant funding per calendar year.

If I’ve previously received a grant am I eligible to apply for another?

Yes, if you have previously applied for or received a Choice Bank Child Care Grant you are eligible to apply for the 2022 grant program as long as you do not exceed grant requests in excess of $10,000 per calendar year.

If my application is not selected can I reapply during the next round?

Yes, if your request for funding in Round 1 is declined, you are eligible to apply for a grant in Rounds 2 and 3. Likewise, if your request for funding in Round 2 is declined, you are eligible to apply for a grant in Round 3.

Can I apply for a grant to cover rent and utility expenses?

No, grants requesting funds for rent and/or monthly utility expenses will be declined. This grant is intended for one-time expenses.

Can I save my progress on my grant application and come back to it later?

No, the application must be completed in one sitting. We suggest having a copy of the program guidelines to use as a reference while working on the application and that you work offline, formulating your answers in a separate document, then copying and pasting it into the form when you are ready to submit your application.

What expenses are eligible for the grant?

Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Costs associated with starting a new child care facility
  • New equipment, materials, purchase(s)
  • Facility renovations
  • Hiring bonuses
  • Other hiring expenses

Ineligible activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Activities that do not directly support the childcare facility or the services it provides
  • Facilities NOT in or serving Burleigh, Cass, Cavalier, Dickey, Grand Forks, Kidder, LaMoure, Mercer, Pembina, Stark, Stutsman, or Walsh county.
  • Facilities located in communities that exceed 10,000 in population.
  • Rent and other operational expenses that are not onetime in nature
  • Projects that were completed in a different calendar year than when you are submitting your application.

Questions?

If you have any questions about the Choice Bank Child Care Grant, use of funds, eligibility requirements, or application process, please email marketing@bankwithchoice.com.