City of Providence Early Learning Facilities Grant Opportunity

Early Learning Facilities Improvement Grants

Recognizing the need for increased access to high-quality early learning programming and the key role facilities play in shaping the availability and quality of services, City of Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza has partnered with LISC to offer facility improvement grants to child care providers for the planning and renovation of physical space.

Grants are available in the following categories:
  • Facilities Planning
  • Facilities Renovation and/or Construction

Facilities improvements can be made to either indoor or outdoor spaces. Eligible organizations are licensed child care and early learning providers located in the City of Providence. A total of $600,000 of funding, made available by the Mayor Elorza, is available for providers serving infant through pre-kindergarten aged children.* Organizations must serve high-needs children and must be actively engaged in the BrightStars process in order to be eligible for these grants. If your center does not serve any high-needs children and if you are not active in BrightStars, you are not eligible for this grant.

*There is also a small, competitive pool of private funding, made available by LISC, accessible for licensed school age child care facilities who serve a substantial percentage of DHS subsidized children and are actively engaged in the BrightStars process.

Priority areas for this funding include:

  • Addressing major health and safety concerns
  • Providing support to programs working to make facility changes that enable them to maintain state licensure
  • Providing support to programs working to improve the overall quality of their center
  • Providing support to programs with a need to expand their space, especially for those looking to expand preschool and pre-K capacity
  • Providing support to programs requiring facility assessment and/or design plans for space improvements
Purpose of Grants

1) Planning Grants – Planning grants are intended to provide child care and early learning facilities with resources to develop a comprehensive indoor and/or outdoor facility plan. Examples of possible uses include:

  • Hiring a professional to conduct an overall facility assessment to help determine major health and safety concerns and develop a staged facility improvement plan
  • Hiring an architect or other qualified design professional to conduct a feasibility assessment of a proposed new site for providers needing to move to new spaces/locations to comply with regulations
  • Hiring an architect or other qualified design professional to develop plans for making necessary improvements to the facility to bring program into full licensing compliance and/or to improve health and safety and other features that will support movement through the BrightStars quality tiers
  • Hiring a design professional to complete a comprehensive playground plan

2) Capital Grants – Capital grants can be used for renovations to address issues related to licensing compliance, health and safety, physical space barriers to quality improvement, and/or expansion of quality programming. Please note that any work performed with these grant funds must be completed by a licensed contractor with appropriate insurance. Further, the contractor must comply with and maintain documentation regarding compliance with the Fair Labor Standard Act and the Davis Bacon Wage Act. Capital grants can also be used to cover costs associated with relocation or disruption of services during construction.

To read the full grant description and instructions, including eligibility requirements, priorities, and what is needed to apply, click here.

(Spanish version here)

Applications for Planning and/or Capital Grants will be open starting July 15th and are due by August 15th with award notification by September 15th. Please click the button below to access the online grant application.


Do you have a project in mind, but aren’t sure where to begin? Our technical assistance is available! Please click here to submit a request for technical assistance or contact Erin Cox, AIA, at 401-519-5684 or ecox@lisc.org.

For questions on the application process, please contact the RICCFF team at riccelff@lisc.org or 401-331-0131.

You can read some of the frequently asked questions here. 

You can find a link to a recorded informational session and download the presentation here. 

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