Frequently Asked Questions
Please note, this web page will be updated regularly as additional questions arise or if new information is released.
Non-profit and for-profit licensed child care or early learning providers, including family child care providers, are eligible as long as they are a registered business operating in good standing in the State of Rhode Island (if you are a sole proprietor you would need to be registered and operating in good standing in the City or Town where you operate) and meet the requirements found in the information and instructions document here (English) (Spanish). If you have any specific questions regarding any of these requirements, please let us know.
The applications to become a CCAP provider can be found here:
- Center and School Age Programs
- Group, Family Child Care Homes, License Exempt
- Group, Family child Care Homes, License Exempt Español
If you are already a licensed provider, you would need to fill out Parts 1 and 3 for CCAP only. Providers can contact the Office of Child Care via DHS.ChildCare@dhs.ri.gov or 401.462.6877 for questions related to the application process.
The BrightStars application, resources, and contact information for questions can all be found here: http://www.brightstars.org/educators/application-materials
If you are a child care provider located in the City of Providence, yes you can apply for both but please be aware there are separate applications and applicant requirements for each grant program. You can visit the Funding page of our website for information on each grant program: https://riccelff.org/funding/
The cap on these grants is $150,000 in total per site. There are two uses of these grant funds that you can propose (you can request funds to cover one or both of these uses). The allowed uses of funds are detailed in the grant information and instructions document (English) (Spanish). If any portion of your grant request proposal is for occupancy expense reimbursement, that portion of the request cannot exceed three months of actual occupancy costs.
As this funding is specific for COVID-19 related loss of revenue, you must be able to show/document loss of revenue and/or increased expenses caused by pandemic-related closure, lowered enrollment, and increased expenses to meet enhanced regulations and health and safety measures. Grant requests and awards should not exceed the amount of loss experienced or additional expenses incurred by the business due to COVID-19.
A Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number is a unique nine-digit identifier for businesses and having one is a federal funding requirement. Because this funding comes from federal CARES Act resources, all applicants must have a DUNS number. You can request a DUNS number, if you don’t already have one, for free here: https://www.dnb.com/duns-number/get-a-duns.html
The Rhode Island Secretary of State website has a step-by-step process, their “RI Business Assistant,” that only takes a few minutes to complete and will provide you with a list of forms, licenses, and regulations you will need to complete in order to register your business. The process to register will vary based on your business structure and may also be impacted by your location.
For example, if you are a sole proprietor, you will need to register with the Town/City where you are located and each municipality’s process to register can be quite different. In this example, once you have completed the Secretary of State’s step-by-step process in which you will include your business structure and location, you will be provided a link to the appropriate Town/City web page or form.
Visit the Secretary of State’s webpage here: https://www.sos.ri.gov/divisions/business-services/business-basics/ and you can view their resources as well as start this step-by-step process by clicking on the green “Start Business Assistant” button.
Please note that if you operate your business as a sole proprietorship, we may request you provide confirmation from your City/Town that your business is registered and a copy of your Schedule C (form 1040) tax return should you be selected to receive funding.
Yes, once the application is open, we are working with partner agencies to ensure we have a team of people who can work with you on your application (for example, you can contact your BrightStars Navigator for assistance with this grant application in addition to us). We hosted a grant application informational session in July (which has been recorded and posted to https://riccelff.org/training-and-events/). We hope that session will provide helpful guidance. If you are not already, please sign up for our eNews here.
Yes, you are still eligible (as long as you meet the other eligibility requirements)! Having received other federal aid funding does NOT make you ineligible to apply for this funding.
That particular eligibility item “Provides information on all pursuits of federal aid/funding (such as SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan funding or Paycheck Protection Program loan funding)” is just that we are requiring those who received federal aid funding, to provide information on what funding was received and what the funding was used for. This is just so that we can work with those awarded grant funding to ensure we are documenting that no federal dollars were used for the same purposes (i.e. no “double-dipping”). So it’s more just that those applying are being asked to agree to disclose that information.
Yes, for profit companies (assuming all other eligibility requirements are met) can be eligible for this grant.
The application should be opening up on Friday, July 31st, and we will send an eNews announcement as soon as it is available.
The grant information and instructions document that is currently on the website here has a section called “What You Will Need to Apply” and it lists out items that will be in the online application so you can begin gathering that information in advance.
The grant information and instructions document (which can be found here) lists out some examples of facilities projects that could be proposed with these funds. I think each of the projects you’ve listed can be a part of an eligible grant request as long as you can detail how it helps you address a COVID-19 related enhanced health and safety guideline and that the project can be completed by 12/31/20. We would recommend citing the licensing regulation or CDC guideline you are addressing for each project you propose, how you are currently unable to meet this guideline, and how the project will enable you to meet it to better protect public health.
For example, maybe you want to install a hand washing sink at an entrance, we would recommend you talk about meeting enhanced healthy hand hygiene procedures set by the CDC by installing the sink and that the new policy will be to require families wash their hands before proceeding inside to reduce viral transmission. The CDC guidance you would better be able to meet to protect public health would be “Hand hygiene stations should be set up at the entrance of the facility, so that children can clean their hands before they enter” or if it is going where children can wash their hands after playing outdoors, it would be meeting the healthy hand hygiene behavior guideline of “All children, staff, and volunteers should engage in hand hygiene… after playing outdoors or in the sand.”
Again, please also just be aware that projects must be completed by December 31, 2020.
You should consider the timeline of these grant funds as well, can your project be realistically completed before 12/31/20.
If you are a DHS licensed child care provider and are a government entity such as a municipality, you do not need to be a registered business. Should you be selected for grant funding we will ask for documentation (including a W-9) to certify the program is operated by the municipality. We can work one-on-one with those programs falling into this category to ensure you have verification.
With this particular grant program, you can utilize funding for purchase of materials to help you better meet health and safety guidelines (and this could include cleaning and sanitation supplies and it could include purchase of equipment, materials and furnishings needed to expand space to accommodate smaller groups and reduce the risk of cross-contamination due to shared equipment). Substitute coverage or payroll expenses would not be an eligible use of these grant funds.
Yes, you do still qualify for this relief fund; however, you will need to demonstrate your overall financial loss during the period of closure and/or reduced enrollment in order to qualify for occupancy cost reimbursement. You will also need to demonstrate that the proposed use of this funding is not in any way already being reimbursed by any other federal funding source.
No, this will be a competitive application process and we are currently capped at $5,000,000. Applications will be reviewed by and decisions made by a committee led by the Department of Human Services and LISC.
You can propose insurance costs as part of the occupancy cost reimbursement use of funds. You will need to be able to provide all invoices, purchase orders and cancelled checks or any other method of payment and a description of basis of allocation to the grant (it should be a reasonably proportionate share).
This funding can be used for purchase of materials, yes. All grant funded activities including cleaning and sanitization should be completed by December 31, 2020 so when you are estimating the costs and how much you will be purchasing, please calculate an estimate for supplies to last through the end of the year. Upon closure of your grant, you will need to supply LISC with all receipts related to grant-funded purchases (and maintain this documentation for three years).
No, this funding can only be used for occupancy cost expense reimbursement (building related – rent, utilities, etc.) or for small renovation projects directly related to meeting enhanced health & safety requirements as a result of COVID-19 health crisis.
You can propose these costs as part of the occupancy cost reimbursement use of funds. You will need to be able to provide all invoices, purchase orders and cancelled checks or any other method of payment and a description of basis of allocation to the grant (it should be a reasonably proportionate share).
We can absolutely provide technical assistance to you around potential facilities projects – that’s a big part of what we do! It would be helpful if you are able to identify which CDC guideline or licensing requirement your business is having challenges in meeting so we can then work together to brainstorm ways to address that issue through a physical renovation. Licensing will be involved in this process, so they will also be able to lend their expertise around the regulatory side. If you have any feedback from licensing on issues to address, definitely prioritize that project.
You can reach out to us now by submitting a request for technical assistance on the website! Oftentimes, best practice facilities design and renovations that LISC has offered guidance on over the years still apply and can be very effective in meeting some of these enhanced requirements. (You can also check out our resource guide library which includes a facility self-assessment tool.)
If businesses are operating as sole proprietors they should be completing a Schedule C when filing their annual tax return so that is something we will be looking for (providing the most recent business tax return is part of the application process and is a requirement in the eligibility criteria).
It is not an eligibility requirement that family child care providers have a separate business checking account. If you are planning on requesting occupancy cost reimbursements as part of your grant proposal, you will need to be able to demonstrate the overall financial loss for your child care business, though. So you will need to be able to show the revenue and expenses of the child care business only (I know the lines are a bit blurred with some expenses in a home situation, as long as providers can speak to how they are determining business vs personal and we can document that, it should be okay).
If you are awarded grant funding, you will need to be able to track and report on grant-funded expenses, so funds should be tracked closely in your accounting or if that is not possible, be kept separate from personal finances. This could end up being a separate bank account, or if you are requesting occupancy cost reimbursement ONLY, it could just be a very careful tracking of the expenses being covered where you can document that the expenses being reimbursed are business-related expenses approved and funded by the grant.
Yes, an eNews announcement will be sent via email with a link to the application. If you do not receive our eNews announcements, you can sign up for those here: https://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/manage/optin?v=0010YFcABXlzqVczlul-KR_P1hFahgqZacy_d4LNzrQLhe5QAlHxcsrgL4juXG541YTA9Z1n6DQ-SmFqrldBaRofkoQF7RmjXF3As6Y1_nwJ6A%3D
Should you be awarded grant funding to hire a contractor for a renovation, you will reach out to various contractors to get bids (or quotes) for the work to be performed. Once you have received several bids, you are the one who will choose who to hire. You must document the process of hiring someone along with your reason for hiring who you hired. All contractors that provide bids MUST be made aware that this is a federally funded project and so Davis Bacon/RI General Law (prevailing wage) laws do apply.
This is a grant fund, so you are not required to repay any of these funds as long as they are utilized for the agreed upon use. For tax purposes, these funds may be counted as income, however. You will need to provide all backup documentation regarding the use of these funds and maintain that documentation.
A DUNS number is completely free. (Please see previous question on DUNS for the link to request a DUNS number along with a description of what the DUNS number is.)
If you are a sole proprietor, you need to register with your City/Town where you are located. If you are an incorporated business, you must register with the Rhode Island Secretary of State. We recommend you visit the RI Business Assistant tool on the RI Secretary of State website for guidance on what you would need for your particular business structure and location: https://www.ri.gov/SOS/businessassistant/wizard/business_categories
Yes, you can still apply. You will need to provide information on your revenue and expenses (for child care business only). Please note that to receive funding for occupancy cost expense reimbursement, you will need to demonstrate that your child care business experienced financial loss during the time of closure and reduced enrollment as the amount of a grant award for that use, cannot exceed the amount of loss experienced.
You may still apply for the Child Care Provider Relief Grant but priority will be first given to groups who can open by that date. And remember, just because you don’t meet that particular criteria doesn’t mean you won’t be higher priority in other categories. This is why telling a good story about your need in the grant narrative will be key!