DeWine announces new grant program to improve child care access


COLUMBUS — Following his announcement in the 2024 State of the State Address, Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Children and Youth provided additional details of Ohio’s new $85 million Child Care Access Grant program to increase the availability of licensed child care.

The Child Care Access Grants are designed to do the following:

• Increase capacity by creating new programs or expanding existing programs.

• Complete building repairs.

• Provide additional training to staff and families to support children with special needs.

“To better prepare our youngest Ohioans for school, and in order to ensure Ohio’s economy can continue to grow and thrive we need to ensure our working families have access to quality early care and education,” DeWine said in a press release. “Quality child care helps prepare children for kindergarten and encourages them to develop the skills they will need to succeed.”

“This competitive grant opportunity will help us ensure parents have access and a choice to where they send their child when they are working or going to school,” said Department of Children and Youth Director Kara Wente, in the release. “Awards will be granted in five categories to ensure more providers have opportunities for funding. Applications will be reviewed based on the number of families that will be impacted by age group; the star-rating level of the provider; providing non-traditional care (including evenings and weekends); providing infant and toddler care; and programs with Inclusive Child Care Program designations.”

Grant types include:

• New Center Start-Up Grant – Up to $500,000 for centers, pre-schools, school age. Family Child Care may apply if they intend to open a new early care and education center.

• Program Expansion Grant – Up to $50,000 for centers, pre-schools/schools, school-age; or $5,000 for family child care.

• Program Repairs Grant – Up to $100,000 for centers, pre-schools/schools, school-age; or $5,000 for family child care.

• Family Child Care Type B to Type A Grant – Up to $25,000 for family child care.

• Increase Capacity for Children with Special Needs Grant – Up to $100,000 for centers, pre-schools/schools and school-age.

Applications close on April 26, 2024, at 5 p.m. Award notifications will be made in early May 2024. Applications can be submitted through the Ohio Professional Registry, via the program’s organizational dashboard at For more information, go to Early Care and Education Access Grants – OCCRRA.

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