At the Patterson Family Foundation, we recognize that access to safe and affordable child care is a foundation of community success. Unfortunately, rural communities are more likely to be classified as child care deserts—areas where the demand for licensed child care greatly exceeds the local capacity to provide it.
This lack of access can be a limiting factor for working parents who support the functions that keep a community humming, such as health care, education, local industry, and elder care. School-district-based child care models have been one of the ways rural communities have successfully addressed this need.
Patterson Family Foundation is proud to launch a funding program for child care centers run by public school districts in our catchment. This funding program is open both to districts preparing to open new child care centers as well as existing district child care centers that would like to increase capacity, ages served, or hours of operation.
Applying districts may request support for short-term operational needs, training and certification needs, and/or minor capital improvements aimed at supporting the adaptation of existing district facilities to better serve the purpose of providing child care.
Our goal with this program is to increase the capacity and number of licensed child care centers in shortage areas throughout our rural catchment. As a result, eligible school districts must be located in the Foundation’s catchment.
Applications will be received from May 12 to June 30*, 2023. Read on for more details.
Note: We understand that some districts may need approval from their school board to apply for grant funding. If your school board's schedule does not align with our application deadline, please reach out to us.
* This program's deadline has been extended from June 9 to June 30.
This grant aims to support school districts looking to increase child care capacity, ages served, facility hours, and other forms of increased access within their community. For all net-new child care centers, we are eager to review your business plan to learn your vision and goals.
Applicant organizations may request funds for existing or start-up district child care centers including:
• Program materials and other one-time operational needs up to $100,000¹
• Training, certification, and other capacity-building needs up to $25,000
• Minor capital improvements up to $50,000 aimed at adapting existing district facilities to better serve the functions of child care
The maximum award amount is $175,000
 In addition to program materials, the Operational category may include coverage for utilities and even staffing-related needs, but it is important for budget makers to note that these funds will not be awarded on an ongoing annual basis.
At the time of application, grant applicants should be ready to share their organization's:
• Project or business plan for child care center (both new and existing)
• Project budget (a full budget breakdown for all operations, capacity, or capital expenditures)
• Letters of support (if available)
Interested and eligible organizations can apply between May 12, 2023 and June 30, 2023 via the Patterson Family Foundation Grants Portal. We will review and verify that applicants meet the eligibility criteria.
This program's deadline has been extended from June 9 to June 30.
Please click here to preview the questions that will be asked in the application process.
We are committed to the ongoing success of our grant recipients. We request that our awarded grantees submit reports six months and one year after funding to share the project's status.
Some items we'll be curious to learn include:
• Summary of the project and its current status
• Number of enrolled children
• Available capacity
• Number of staff
• Current child-to-staff ratio
• How PFF grant dollars were allocated based on the initial proposal
• Budget: planned versus actual (six months and one year)
• Other funding or grants awarded and their amounts
• Other interesting outcomes, impacts, and testimonials
If you have any questions about this program, please contact:
Denise Schuele, Program Officer
Patterson Family Foundation