Improve Child Care Grant
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Grant Proposal Period:

You’ll find answers to the most commonly asked questions here.

What is the deadline to submit a proposal for the IMPROVE Child Care grant?

The grant period ended on Friday, April 14th at 5pm.

When will the IMPROVE Child Care grant applicants be notified of award decisions?

Applicants will be notified by June 30, 2023.

Is assistance available to help a program complete the IMPROVE Child Care grant proposal application, budget and W-9 requirements?

The IMPROVE Child Care grant is a competitive grant program. Due to the competitive nature of the grant process, thread cannot provide assistance surrounding the project specifics or completing the application.

For technical assistance, the following resources are available:

  1. For local governments, contact Alaska Municipal League
  2. For private sector organizations, contact Anchorage Community Land Trust
  3. For nonprofits who are looking for TA, contact Zoe Olson at Foraker Group
What is the ICCIS number? Where is this number found?

ICCIS stands for Integrated Child Care Information System and is generated by the State of Alaska Child Care Program Office (CCPO). This number can be found on correspondence from the CCPO. It is also the number used for the Child Care Assistance Program.

How many IMPROVE Child Care grants will be awarded?

The number of grants awarded will depend on the submitted proposals.

What is the total amount of funding available for the grant programs?

Approximately $8 million will be awarded between two grant programs: IMPROVE Child Care grant and the Community INNOVATION grant.

If the proposed project budget is outside of the grant range of $3,000-$50,000, can a program still apply?

Yes. Project budgets are expected to fall within the grant range of $3,000-$50,000, but may be considered outside of this range.

Can a program submit multiple grant proposals for different projects and be awarded multiple grants?

There are two grant opportunities: IMPROVE Child Care grant and the Community INNOVATION grant. Applicants are encouraged to apply for the grant program that best fits the project’s goals, scope and budget, and the grant eligibility guidelines.

If there are multiple goals within the proposed project, please include them together in one project proposal. This is a competitive grant, and proposals will be measured against all received applications within the funds available. Projects may be funded fully, partially, or declined based on the review process.

If a program has multiple licensed sites, and the project goals benefit multiple sites, how should a program apply?

A program can submit a separate proposal for each location or one proposal that includes the full scope of the project.

Can multiple funding categories be included in the same proposal? Can two or more funding categories be approved for the same child care program?

The project proposal application will allow applicants to select all funding categories applicable to the project.

Projects may be funded fully, partially, or declined based on the review process.

What information should be included in the proposal?

Applicants are encouraged to be creative within the allowed categories to fulfill the intent of the grant. Information can be found on the program overview for proposal requirements.

What expenses are ineligible?

Grant funds may not be used for (new) construction, major renovation, land purchase, food, tuition discounts, rent, operating expenses, wages and benefits (including bonuses), fieldtrips and experiences.

Additionally, grant funds will be used for expenses occurring after the award date if project is selected.

Can project funding be used to build a facility or add an addition?

No. Major construction is excluded by the funding source. Federal guidelines are here.

Construction means the erection of a facility that does not currently exists.

Major renovation means:

  • Structural changes to the foundation, roof, floor, exterior, or load-bearing walls of a facility or the extension of a facility to increase its floor area.
  • Extensive alteration of a facility such as to significantly change its function and purpose even if such renovation does not include any structural change.

See the minor renovation question below for more information on what is allowable.

Is minor renovation allowed? If so, what is defined as a minor renovation?

Yes. Minor renovation, including making programs inclusive for children and family members with disabilities. Minor renovations may also include: Upgrading the kitchen to add safe electrical outlets, fixing plumbing fixtures, repainting walls with non-toxic paint, renovating and updating bathrooms (e.g., sink, faucet, toilet, etc.) to ensure age-appropriateness and child safety, replacing cabinets with adequate storage space for each child’s personal belongings, installing rails and ramps that are accessible to individuals with disabilities, updating a sidewalk to provide a safe pathway for children, building or upgrading a playground, replacing fire sprinklers, carbon monoxide detectors, and smoke detection systems, replacing windows or doors, completing a minor roof repair, removing non-load bearing walls to create additional space for social distancing.

What information is required for the detailed budget? Are cost estimates or quotes required?

The project budget should include all the revenue and expenses for the specific project. Cost estimates or quotes for project work may be submitted with the project budget.

Does a contractor have to be hired before submitting a proposal?


Can programs that are not licensed apply for the IMPROVE Child Care grant?

No. Any program that meets definition of eligibility can apply. Eligible programs include:

  • Licensed Child Care Center
  • Licensed Group Home
  • Licensed Family Child Care
  • Licensed School-age Center Approved Relative
  • In-Home Care/Other (Head Start, Pre-K, Unlicensed, etc.) 

Non licensed programs need to be certified or regulated by the State of Alaska. 

What criteria will be used to evaluate the proposals?

The IMPROVE Child Care grant proposals will be reviewed and evaluated on:

  • Overall quality of proposal
  • Project design (key activities are clearly described)
  • Program need
  • Outcome(s) (significant degree of change)
  • Sustainability
  • Budget (appropriate for scope)
What age groups are served by this grant?

The IMPROVE Child Care grant is for eligible child care programs serving children birth through 12 years old.

Is the IMPROVE Child Care grant tax exempt?

No, this grant opportunity is not tax exempt. There may be tax implications for your program/organization/partnership if awarded funding. Please consult with the IRS, an accountant, or tax specialist for guidance.