New Round of Project Applications

These guidelines pertain to providers submitting for the new round of applications. Additional applicants will be invited to apply as funding allows. IFF will reach out to those providers if funds are available.

Please read the following information carefully as some of the guidelines have changed.
  • The application window will open Nov. 6 at 8 a.m. and close Nov. 15 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Each license number will be able to submit 1 Tier 1 application. (What is Tier 1?)
  • Each license number will be able to submit as many Tier 2 applications as needed for the scope of work within the total eligible funding. (What is Tier 2?)
  • Each license will be able to apply for up to $50,000 for home-based and $150,000 for center-based. Please note: Funding is not guaranteed. Your application and award amount are contingent on review and availability of funding.
  • If your project requires a contractor, make sure you and the contractor agree on a realistic timeline. Contractors may not be able to start working the same day an application is approved. Projects funded by this grant need to be completed by July 2024.
  • Because funding is limited and we are trying to reach as many new and expanding programs as possible, you may be responsible for any cost overages or additional expenses beyond the approved grant funding for you project.

Please note: Funding is not guaranteed. Your application and award amount are contingent on review and availability of funding. If your application requires edits, your timeline will reset to the date the edits are made. To expedite your application review and avoid edits, we encourage you to:


Prepare for Your Project Application

Review recorded Technical Assistance Sessions or IFF’s early childhood education research. These informational sessions provide in-depth guidance for filling out and submitting applications as well as important practices, such as the best color to comfort and inspire children, ways to address important health and safety issues, and other ways successful programs flourish.

Watch this video: Leading Practices for Quality Facilities. We highly recommend watching this before deciding what projects will benefit your program and your children most.

Review the Grant Guidelines here.

We recommend you watch the Phase II TA session (12 minutes), and prepare the required items, including:

  • Scope of Work A brief description of the work to be completed. Your application will be returned if you do not include quantities and/or square footage for materials. For example: 6 storm windows for playroom and kitchen. $160 per window. Laminate flooring, 600 square feet, for basement. $1.25 per square foot. Download a sample scope of work here.
  • Contractor Registration Contractors will need to be registered with us to receive grant funds. If your contractor is not already registered with us, they can do so here. If you need help finding a contractor, you can find registered and ready contractors in our gallery. (Note: Contractor Registration should be completed by the contractor from their own Submittable account not by the applicant. An applicant submitting a Contractor Registration may cause payment delays.)
  • Quotes From Vendors If ordering furniture or materials directly from a catalogue, online, or home improvement store, you will need to provide documentation of the cost. For online orders, this can be a screen shot or photo of your cart. For in-person items, most stores will happily provide you with a printout of the full cost. Make sure your documentation includes taxes, delivery, and other fees so we can provide funds to cover those as well.
  • Before Pictures
  • Eligible Expenses These are federal funds that are designated for minor renovations and repairs that will improve the health, safety, and accessibility of your space, and enhance indoor and outdoor learning environments. As such, please review this list of eligible and ineligible expenses. Our Facilities Best Practices and Eligibility TA session (10 minutes) also covers a wide variety of specific usage of funds.

Prepare to complete the Project Application Please note, depending on the details of your project, you may need to complete more than 1 application. The examples below demonstrate some of the wide variety of project needs and the accompanying applications.

  • Example A (1 Application): I plan to hire a General Contractor to manage the full scope of work for this project. I do not plan to purchase any materials or equipment on my own. I can work with a General Contractor to complete 1 project application.
  • Example B (3 Applications): I plan to hire a General Contractor to manage the full scope of work for this project and I am required to hire an architect for stamped drawings. I also plan to directly order furniture and equipment online. I will work with a General Contractor to complete 1 project application for the scope of work they manage. I will work with an architect to complete 1 project application for the scope of work they will manage. I will complete 1 project application to describe and apply for the furniture and equipment I plan to order myself.
  • Example C (1 Application): I plan to purchase flooring and installation from Home Depot. The materials and installation from Home Depot are all paid directly to Home Depot. I will complete 1 project application and a total estimate of project cost.
  • Example D (4 Applications): I plan to purchase furniture from Lakeshore, hire a painter to paint, an HVAC specialist to replace my furnace, and an additional contractor to replace my windows. I will complete 1 application for the purchase from Lakeshore, 1 application for the painting scope of work, 1 application for the HVAC scope of work, and 1 application for the window scope of work, for a total of 4 separate applications.

Tier 1 or Tier 2

Project Applications are categorized as one of two tiers based on the scope of work.

  • Tier 1 applications are primarily for funding to purchase materials or work that does not involve contracts.
  • Tier 2 applications are for projects that require contracts or contractors.

For installation projects, if the work is being done by a retail home improvement store, it is a Tier 1. If the work is being done by a supplier or contractor, it is Tier 2. For example, purchasing flooring and having it installed by a store such as Home Depot is a Tier 1. Purchasing windows and having them installed by a supplier such as Wallside Windows is a Tier 2.

Tier 1

Tier 1 applications are mostly for equipment and materials. For example, replacing a washer and dyer, getting portable HEPA filters, child-sized tables, are all Tier 1 projects.

  • No contracts or contractors
  • Primarily equipment and materials
  • Retail home improvement installations

Tier 2

Tier 2 applications are for repairs and renovations that require a contractor. For example, roof or siding repair, electrical panel upgrades, work on non-load-bearing partition walls, are all Tier 2 projects.

  • Contracts and contractors
  • Repairs and renovations
  • Supplier installations