thread is Excited to Award the IMPROVE and Community INNOVATION Grants

August 15, 2023

In March 2023, thread in partnership with the State of Alaska Child Care Program Office (CCPO), called for proposals for two new competitive grant programs: IMPROVE Child Care Grant and Community INNOVATION Grant. The purpose of the grants is to increase and sustain the availability of affordable, high-quality child care across Alaska after the impact of COVID-19. Today, thread and the State of Alaska Child Care Program Office (CCPO) are excited to announce that the proposals have been evaluated, awardees have been selected and delivery of the awards is underway.

thread is happy to share that we will be awarding a total of $15,000,000 in grants to licensed child care programs and communities across Alaska to improve child care. thread anticipated a total budget of up to $10,000,000 for the IMPROVE and INNOVATION Grants. Thank you to the State of Alaska, who allocated additional money to increase the total number of awards, increasing the reach of impact across the state. These awards are made possible through the thread Child Care Resource and Referral grant, from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), with the State of Alaska’s Child Care Program Office as the lead agency and thread as the intermediary for grant distribution. A portion of the INNOVATION grants will be made possible by funds from Preschool Development Grant – Birth through Five (PDG B-5) grant number 90TP0103.


Over $14,000,000 will be disbursed to 17 Alaska community projects that will increase and support the planning and implementation of increased access to quality child care. This includes projects to build and sustain the child care workforce, increase capacity for affordable, high-quality child care, and grow community infrastructure related to child care across the state. A total of 68 applications were received through a competitive process for the Community INNOVATION Grant.

Congratulations to the following communities:

CommunityOrganizationCommunity Project

Hoonah, AK

Hoonah Indian Association

Bring to fruition a long-planned child care facility and first licensed child care for Hoonah as part of their economic development plan.

Homer / Southern Kenai Peninsula

South Peninsula Hospital, Inc.

Develop employer-sponsored child care program for hospital employees.

Seward, AK

Seward Prevention Coalition

Expand and strengthen child care infrastructure by providing support for children, families and their community.

Anchorage, AK

First United Methodist Church of Anchorage

Pilot a Worker-Owned Cooperative child care program with four partners establishing full-time care for 52 children.

Nome, AK

Kawerak, Inc., Uiviilat Play & Learn Center

Job training and early childhood education opportunities to develop the local workforce.

Matanuska Susitna Borough

Camp Fire Alaska

Design and conduct a market feasibility study for expanding school-age child care.

Naukati Bay, AK

Island Daycare

Open a licensed accessible child care program on the Prince of Wales Island, partnering with several local agencies.

Juneau, AK

City & Borough of Juneau

Design an apprenticeship program and increase operating stipends for the HEARTS program.

Anchorage, AK

Alaska Jewish Center

Develop an outdoor discovery and exploration play center accessible to all children called the “Harmony Project”.

Statewide, AK

ACT – Alaska Afterschool Network

Support for School Age Child Care across Alaska, including a needs assessment and creating an alternative education pathway.

Copper River Census Area

Copper River Native Association, Inc.

Increase child care capacity from 35 to 70 with a high-quality licensed child care program.

Skagway, AK

Skagway Child Care Council Inc

The Skagway Innovates project will evaluate child care needs and increase capacity under the leadership of Skagway Early Childhood Coalition.

Valdez, AK

City of Valdez

Complete a strategic plan to address the ongoing child care crisis in Valdez and ensure a swift implementation of the plan.

Sitka, AK

Sitka Counseling and Prevention Services, Inc.

Pilot a therapeutic child care program to increase access to child care and early childhood education for children with a wide range of intensive behavioral health and developmental needs.

Girdwood, AK

Girdwood Inc.

Funding for architectural plans and planning for a new child care facility to address the current child care crisis in their community.

Fairbanks, AK

Thrivalaska dba Play N Learn

Optimize available child care slots and increase capacity through the renovation of classrooms.

Kotzebue, AK

Nunkins/Arctic OT Services, Inc
Opening the first licensed child care center after many years of no licensed care. Starting an early childhood coalition to support increasing child care providers within the community.


A total of $930,550 was disbursed to 24 licensed child care programs (12 child care centers and 12 child care homes) supporting projects to improve access to quality child care. These funds will be used to make improvements such as new outdoor equipment and toys, health and safety repairs (new flooring, walkways, stairs, fire escapes), security and safety repairs (updated fire alarm systems, secure building entries, increase egress for evacuation), ADA compliance, supplies for new classrooms (furniture, educational supplies), and administrative support (computers, filing cabinets, office furniture) to existing licensed childcare programs in the state. A total of 188 proposals were received from licensed child care programs through a competitive process for the IMPROVE grant.

thread is ecstatic to be a part of this grant process, the very first of its kind! We look forward to the impact these grants and awarded projects will have on Alaskan communities and child care programs throughout the state.