Will County Launches Child Care Provider Grant Opportunity

Elevate Will County - Child Care Provider Grant

WILL COUNTY – Will County has launched a grant opportunity for early child care providers to improve or expand services. $225,000 has been made available for licensed providers to pursue grant funding for educational materials, developmental support services, or improvements to physical space and technology.

“Our childcare providers are one of the first experiences for our children,” said Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant in a press release.

“Investing in early childhood development is critical for ensuring positive long-term educational outcomes. This grant helps ensure that providers throughout the county have the resources they need to be successful.”

The grant, called the “Elevate Will County – Child Care Provider Grant”, is funded by State of Illinois Cannabis Sales Tax revenue received by the County. The Will County Board voted to approve the creation of an early childhood development grant opportunity in the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget.

“Investing in early childhood education is not just a moral imperative,” said Will County Board Member Natalie Coleman, D-Plainfield. “It’s an economic necessity that is the foundation upon which we build the future of our society,”

The grant opportunity is available to any child care provider licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services serving children ages zero to 5 in Will County. Additional priority will be given to providers located in Will County’s Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) areas. Applicants can submit multiple applications for grants ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

“Our goal was to allocate Cannabis Sales Tax dollars toward those affected by the War on Drugs,” said Will County Board Member Raquel Mitchell, R-Bolingbrook.

“This grant allows child care providers to improve and expand services, which is great for the local economies throughout those affected areas of Will County. Expanded access to child care provides parents the tools they need to pursue the life they desire to take care of their family, while ensuring that child care is accessible and affordable. I believe this allows us to reach our intended goal/target.”

Applications will be accepted until May 22, 2024. Providers interested in applying are also invited to attend a virtual technical assistance workshop from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on April 24.

Child care providers can learn more and apply for the grant opportunity by visiting www.willcountyillinois.org/child-care-grant. Questions can be submitted to Birth to Five Illinois, which is partnering with Will County to administer this grant, at [email protected] by May 10, 2024.

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