Program Motivation and Description

Communities across Northwest Minnesota are experiencing a child care availability crisis that is impacting businesses and employers, children and families and community prosperity.

Northwest Minnesota Foundation leads and supports collaborative efforts in communities to find innovative, sustainable solutions to help solve their unique child care needs. We incentivize child care providers to improve the quality of their care and embrace the Parent Aware rating system.

We assist child care providers and communities with financial and capital needs through flexible lending and grant products. Better lives are built when our children are provided quality care and families can enter the workforce on their terms and not be hindered by the lack of available child care in their community.

Our goal is to develop a child care workforce that not only meets the needs of working parents and communities, but also the needs of developing children.  We are supporting a workforce of educated child care providers that understand child development, curriculum and assessment, so children are ready to learn, which will create a smoother transition from child care to Kindergarten.

Scope of Work

Convening – We lead and support collaborative efforts to find innovative, sustainable solutions to help solve their unique child care needs. We incentivize child care providers to improve the quality of their care and embrace the Parent Aware rating system. We assist child care providers and communities with financial and capital needs through flexible lending and grant products.

Grant Funding –Eligible projects will be prioritized for funding based on the reasonable expectation that the grant funds will help an organization complete a project that improves child care quality and availability. Eligible organizations receiving grants must be 501(c)3 nonprofit or public organization, or as sanctioned by a tribal government as a nonprofit agency. Final grant decisions will be based on information received during the application process.

 Eligibility

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation provides loans and invests resources in communities located, within the counties of Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Kittson, Lake-of-the-Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake and Roseau.

From March 11, 2019 through May 3, 2019 NMF will accept applications for funding. In order to apply for full grant funding the applicant will be asked to submit an application detailing:

1. The problem that your project will address
2. Who are the responsible parties
3. Timeline for completing goals
4. Proposed budget
5. Detailed breakdown of matching funds

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation will provide funding for organizations working to improve child care quality or child care availability. NMF has developed three potential funding areas that applicants can use to determine if they are eligible for funding.

 

  1. Child Care Availability & Quality

Under the Child Care Availability & Quality area NMF will fund projects that directly impact the availability and quality of new or existing child care providers as well as expand the reach and scope of current efforts. Grants under this program area will not exceed $15,000 per project and will require matching funds totaling 100% of the requested grant amount. At a minimum, 50% of matching funds must be in the form of cash while the remainder may be in-kind.  Examples of eligible activities include:

  • Projects that will increase quality of child care by utilizing the Parent Aware rating system
  • Programs that work to encourage positive mental health for young children
  • Projects that grow/increase available child care slots – all ages
  • Projects that grow/increase available infant care
  • Projects that pilot innovative/unique child care business models

 

 

  1. Early Childhood Education

Under the Early Childhood Education area NMF will fund projects for applicants that work to create a system that helps children learn at a developmentally appropriate level and encourages a seamless transition from the early childhood experience to the school experience.  Grants under this program area will not exceed $15,000 per project and will not require matching funds. Examples of eligible activities include:

  • Curriculum and/or training that encourages social and emotional learning
  • Curriculum and/or training that encourages improved kindergarten readiness skills
  • Programs that work to improve 3rd grade reading skills
  • Collaborating to align Pre-K through 3rd grade curriculum, assessment and instruction
  • Projects that will help support families by building parenting skills
  • Projects that address school absenteeism through 3rd grade
  • Projects that pilot innovative/unique early childhood education partnerships

 

 

  1. Workforce – High School Child Care Careers

Under the Workforce – High School Child Care Careers track NMF will fund projects that introduces early childhood care and education as a profession to High School students. Grants under this program area will not exceed $15,000 per project and will not require matching funds.  Examples of eligible activities include:

  • Projects that pilot innovative/unique child care career education partnerships
  • Working with quality community child care facilities to develop a program where students can experience working in the early childhood field
  • Developing a work experience for students in the school setting, including School Readiness, ECFE, Head Start and Voluntary Pre-K
  • Developing a work experience for students in a before and after school preschool setting
  • Creating a job fair experience that brings in speakers from different early childhood professions, including but not limited to Child Care Aware, First Children’s Finance, early childhood instructors from colleges and community colleges, Head Start, School Readiness and ECFE teachers
  • CDA (Child Development Associate credential) which would include introducing the CDA program as a course for juniors or seniors in an early education/child development program
  • Connecting high school program with a post-secondary institution for dual-credit courses

 

At this time the Northwest Minnesota Foundation will not consider funding for on-going operating costs. However, NMF will consider funding costs that expand the reach and scope of current efforts.

 

From March 11, 2019 through May 3, 2019 NMF will accept applications for funding. In order to create the most efficient way to disburse these funds we have created a shortened application process.  A preproposal application can be completed online, and a short form grant application is available to download.

 

How to Apply

  1. Fill out the preproposal form online here.
  2. Download the grant application form and the evaluation template.
  3. Complete the full grant application form and additional documents required for consideration and return by standard mail or by email:
    • Mailing address: Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Attn: Child Care Grant Program, 201 3rd Street NW, Bemidji, MN 56601
    • Email: missyo@nwmf.org
    • Applications submitted by standard mail must be postmarked by May 3, 2019.

Reminder: Your application must include the following details:

  1. The problem that your project will address
  2. Who are the responsible parties
  3. Timeline for completing goals
  4. Proposed budget
  5. Detailed breakdown of matching funds