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Grant Support For Early Childhood Education Initiative

Todd PittengerNovember 9, 2021

Additional grant opportunities for early childhood education are available in Northwest Kansas via the Dane G. Hansen Foundation.

According to the organization, since 2017, multiple reports from Strategic Doing sessions in the 26-county service area of the Foundation have identified the need for additional childcare options. The shortage of childcare effects the ability of a community to grow, equating to fewer homes sold, fewer children in our schools, and fewer employees available for our businesses.

In response, the Hansen Trustees launched NW Kansas Cares for Kids in 2020 with three grants designed to assist childcare centers in attracting and retaining quality staff and provide needed tools to prepare the enrolled children with the skills to enter Kindergarten ready to continue learning. That initial phase is a 5-year pilot program.

The Hansen Board of Trustees is now announcing two additional grants. One will provide support for tangible needs such as office equipment, outdoor play equipment or other physical needs. The other is designed to increase the number of childcare slots by assisting with the start-up or expansion of nonprofit childcare centers, nonprofit group homes or licensed childcare homes.

Early Childhood Education Start-up or Expansion Grants

To assist communities to start or expand quality nonprofit early education centers or group homes in Northwest Kansas.  In certain situations, the Hansen Foundation can also work through governmental or qualified non-profit entities to assist in the start-up or sustainability of licensed childcare homes.

The start-up and expansion grants require that applying communities have identified and qualified the need for additional childcare slots; engaged with other community members and entities to create a plan to solve the issue; committed to and have a plan to ensure a livable wage for childcare workers; explored and identified potential sites; and identified local funding sources.

Applicants can request funding to expand an existing childcare site, or to remodel a site for a new or expanded childcare site.

In addition, the Hansen Foundation has contracted to have at least 4 houses built that are designed to work as group homes. Applicants can request to be the recipient of one of these homes which are being built in Logan and will be moved to the applying community.  Applicants for these three- bedroom, two-bathroom houses must consider moving costs, including foundation and access costs at the new site, as well as the cost to equip the houses with appliances, furniture and other necessities.

Early Childhood Education Enhancement Grants

The Enhancement Grant is designed to assist with physical needs beyond curriculum, such as office equipment or outdoor play equipment. Applicants are encouraged to explore currently available government grants as well as this new grant from the Hansen Foundation.

The grant is limited to nonprofit licensed childcare centers or group homes located in the 26-county area served by the Dane G. Hansen Foundation.

Home-based childcare businesses and preschools are not eligible for this grant.

More detailed information on the criteria for both grants as well as information on the group home houses is available on the Foundation’s website: danehansenfoundation.org. Click on the NW Kansas Cares for Kids logo.

Grant deadlines are 9:00 a.m. on the 25th of each month.

Grants from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation are available only to nonprofit organizations. For-profit centers that meet the above criteria can apply for similar assistance through the Northwest Kansas Economic Innovation Center, Inc., at NWKEICI.org.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2021. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.

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