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Learn more about Build, Learn, Grow resources for families and programs.

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Child Care Closure Grants

  • Time period: Through the end of 2021
  • Eligibility: Programs must be CCDF eligible and have faced closure due to a positive COVID-19
  • Description: Child Care Closure Grants provide support to programs facing temporary closure of a classroom or facility due to a positive COVID-19 case.
  • Click HERE for to apply for a Child Care Closure Grant
  • Who is eligible to apply?

    Providers must be eligible to receive CCDF and be a licensed center, family child care home, unlicensed registered ministry or legally licensed-exempt provider. Schools (public or private) and Head Start/Early Head Start grantees in the state of Indiana are not eligible.

  • How can I apply?
  • What documentation is required for grant approval?

    If the program closure is due to a staff member testing positive, provide documentation of the confirmed positive test with staff member’s name, date and results on the form. All staff must have approved consent forms/background checks to work on file with OECOSL. If the program closure is due to a child testing positive, submit the name of the child, along with attendance sheets showing the child’s last date of attendance.

  • How much funding can I receive?

    The sum of total grants awarded across all programs per closure period is capped at $40,000

  • What is the deadline for application?

    Grant award windows run through the end of 2021 or until funds are no longer needed. View the grant application windows at https://www.in.gov/fssa/carefinder/covid-19-coronavirus-guidance-for-oecosl-stakeholders/

  • Who should I contact if I missed the grant application period?

    If you’ve missed the grant application window, contact Rene Withers at rene.withers@fssa.in.gov to request a review for an exception to apply

  • What can grant funds be used for?

    Grant funds are designed to help continue paying child care staff and maintaining operations for the time period of the required COVID-19 closure. The grant should cover the cost of lost revenue during closure from children who are funded through private pay/cash pay.

  • When will I be notified of award results?

    Grant award decisions are typically made and communicated within one week of the application window closing. View dates at https://www.in.gov/fssa/carefinder/covid-19-coronavirus-guidance-for-oecosl-stakeholders/

  • If awarded, how soon will I receive funds?

    Grant awards take place on the bi-weekly CCDF happen one week after the application window closes. View dates at https://www.in.gov/fssa/carefinder/provider-reimbursements/.

  • If I’ve been awarded a grant previously but experience a new closure, am I eligible to apply again?

    Yes, programs may apply for one grant for each closure. If applying for subsequent grants, a program that has not previously received funding may be given priority.

  • Are programs required to report on how funds are used?

    No, programs are not required to report their use of grant funds, however, you should keep documentation about your program’s use of the funds to provide in the event of an audit.

Emergency Relief Grants

  • Time period: March 28, 2021-March 13, 2022
  • Eligibility: Programs must be CCDF eligible and serving children with active vouchers.
  • Description: To address programs’ increased COVID-related operating expenses, temporary Emergency Relief Grants offer a 20% increase to reimbursements for programs serving children receiving CCDF/On My Way Pre-K.
  • Application: View the Reimbursement Schedule
  • Who is eligible to receive Emergency Relief Grants?

    Programs must be CCDF eligible and serving children with active CCDF and On My Way Pre-K vouchers.

  • How do I apply to become a CCDF-eligible provider?

    To become CCDF eligible, contact your licensing consultant. Learn more at https://www.in.gov/fssa/carefinder/provider-resources/.

  • My program is CCDF eligible, but we are not currently serving CCDF children. Am I eligible to receive grant funds?

    You will only receive grant funds when your program is actively serving children using CCDF vouchers.

  • How do I apply to receive the Emergency Relief Grant?

    To streamline and expedite the process for programs to receive these funds, the state is not requiring providers to submit an application and will instead automatically apply the 20% increase to your regularly scheduled bi-weekly CCDF payments

  • Will the 20% increase be applied to care provided before the grant period?

    No. The increase will only be applied to care provided to children with active CCDF vouchers between March 28, 2021 and March 13, 2022

  • What if I change my rates while receiving Emergency Relief Grants?

    Changing your rate is unlikely to impact your CCDF reimbursement since reimbursements are based upon the lesser of the market rate or the provider’s charge rate.

  • How will the 20% increase be applied to eligible programs?

    The reimbursement increase will be applied based on time and attendance for the set CCDF reimbursement rates found here (https://www.in.gov/fssa/carefinder/provider-reimbursements/).

  • If I attempt to collect payment from a family for missed CCDF swipes, can I only collect my posted tuition rate or can I also attempt to collect the additional 20%?

    You may only collect your posted tuition rate

  • How will programs receive grant funds?

    Programs will receive grant funds automatically during their regularly scheduled bi-weekly payments from FSSA. The grant funds will be added on top of regular reimbursements.

  • When will programs receive grant funds?

    Programs will receive grant funds on a bi-weekly basis following the FSSA 2021 Child Care Provider Payment Schedule. Programs will receive their first grant payment on April 28, 2021. Final payments will be made on March 30, 2022.

  • What can relief grant funds be used for?

    Programs can use relief funds to help cover increased operating expenses and for expenses incurred to reopen classrooms, hire additional staff and compensate team members.

  • Will the 20% increase be applied before or after CCDF co-payments are added to a program’s regularly scheduled payment?

    The increase will be added before the CCDF co-payments.

  • Who should I contact if I find an error with my Emergency Relief Grant payment?

    For specific questions about your Emergency Relief Grant payment, contact your policy consultant or email OECOSLproviderinquiry@fssa.IN.gov.

Increased CACFP Reimbursements

  • Time period: CACFP Claims for Meals Provided from May-Sept 2021
  • Eligibility: Increased CACFP reimbursements are for CCDF-eligible programs participating in the CACFP.
  • Description: Programs participating in the CACFP will receive increased CACFP reimbursements from the state to offer support for increased COVID-related food costs.
  • Click HERE to learn more about becoming a CACFP program
  • Who is eligible to receive increased CACFP reimbursements?

    Any program actively participating in the CACFP that submits a claim for food costs incurred during the set period is eligible.

  • Who should I contact if I am interested in becoming a CACFP program?

    Contact Rachel Reynolds at rreynolds@doe.in.gov to learn more. Funds will be applied in a first come, first served manner and until funds are depleted

  • How much will qualifying programs receive in reimbursement?

    Reimbursements vary by provider type, meal type, and whether the meals are paid, reduced price, or free for children. The federal government sets the CACFP reimbursement rates, but in Indiana, temporary COVID relief funding through the Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning (OECOSL, a division of FSSA) is increasing the reimbursement rates by 50% for CCDF-eligible participants of CACFP.

  • How will increased CACFP reimbursements be applied/distributed?

    Funds will be directly applied to program claim reimbursements during the set period for as long as funds are available. Funds are on a first come, first served basis, so programs should prioritize submitting their claims in a timely manner

  • Will the increase apply to claims for meals served prior to May but submitted during the set time period?

    No. This increased reimbursement is only for meals served from May-Sept. 2021.

  • When will programs receive increased CACFP reimbursements?

    Programs will receive an increase in their monthly CACFP reimbursement beginning in May

  • What can the increased reimbursement be used for?

    Programs can use the funds for any allowable cost under the CACFP

  • Who should I contact with questions regarding increased CACFP reimbursements?

    For questions about your increased CACFP reimbursement, complete this form (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdFLtcG1rJDRROWIMTF2AwpvEdrrWuANUd54X_j3D9vRqOFgQ/viewform).

  • What is required of programs to participate in the CACFP program?

    At this time, programs may only participate in CACFP through one of the Sponsoring Organizations for Homes or Sponsoring Organization for Centers and Ministries. Connect with a sponsoring organization to learn more about their onboarding process. Typically, documentation and training are required before you can start receiving reimbursements for food-related expenses. Starting October 1, 2021, CACFP will re-open applications for Centers and Ministries to participate directly with CACFP, without a sponsor. Homes must always participate in the program through a sponsoring organization.

  • How will programs know that the CACFP reimbursement has been applied to their claim?

    CACFP claims are submitted and paid out either directly through the CACFP, or through a Sponsoring Organization. CACFP program participants who are also CCDF eligible will receive the increased reimbursement until the temporary increase fund is depleted.

Waived Background Check Fees

  • Time period: April 2021-April 2022
  • Eligibility: Programs must be CCDF eligible
  • Description: To support programs in hiring new team members and cover recruitment and onboarding costs, the state will waive background check fees for child care programs’ employees.
  • Who is eligible for waived background check fees?

    Waived background check fees apply to all individuals needing background checks in the early care and education industry.

  • Do waived background check fees apply to both new and existing staff?

    Waived background check fees apply to all staff requiring fingerprints.

  • What if an individual used to work in child care more than three years ago and is now returning to the field? Do they qualify for waived background check fees?

    Yes, an individual returning to the field qualifies for the waived background check fees.

  • How will the process for waived background check fees work?

    When employees visit the IdentoGo site, found here, to schedule an appointment to complete their fingerprints, they must select the Family and Social Services Administration under the “Agency Name” drop-down and then select one of the following Application Categories.

    • Licensed Exempt CCDF Certified Employee
    • Licensed Exempt CCDF Certified Volunteer
    • Unlicensed Registered CC Ministry Employee
    • Unlicensed Registered CC Ministry Volunteer
    • Child Care Center Employee
    • Child Care Center Volunteer
    • Child Care Home Employee
    • Child Care Home Volunteer

    When one of the above Application Categories has been selected, the IdenteGo system will NOT ask the employee for payment and will reroute that billing to the Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning.

  • Who should I contact with questions regarding waived background check fees?

    For questions, contact OECOSLproviderinquiry@fssa.IN.gov.

  • What should I do if I or my new employee is asked to pay for a background check during the waived period?

    Contact OECOSLproviderinquiry@fssa.IN.gov with questions.

Onboarding Stipends for New Hires

  • Time period: April 2021-April 2022
  • Eligibility: CCDF-eligible programs
  • Description: To support programs in hiring new team members and cover recruitment and onboarding costs, the state will issue $400 stipends to child care programs for each new hire.
  • Who is eligible for new hire onboarding stipends?

    Providers must be eligible to receive CCDF and be a licensed center, family child care home, unlicensed registered ministry or legally licensed-exempt provider. Schools (public or private) grantees in the state of Indiana are not eligible.

  • I am CCDF eligible but not currently serving children with active vouchers. Am I eligible to receive onboarding stipends for my program’s new hires?

    Yes. If you haven’t provided your program’s banking information to the state, you will need to do so to receive payment.

  • Do programs have to apply to receive new hire onboarding stipends?

    No, once the new hire has been qualified to work in your program, the stipend will be paid automatically.

  • How will programs receive onboarding stipends for new hires?

    Once a new hire has been qualified to work in your program, a $400 stipend will be issued to the program through the next bi-weekly CCDF payment. Stipends may be used to cover costs associated with recruitment, employee health and safety requirements, and mandatory job training. One stipend will be issued per worker.

  • How much will programs receive per new hire?

    Programs will receive $400 per new hire.

  • What can stipends be used for?

    Stipends may be used to cover costs associated with recruitment, employee health and safety requirements, and mandatory job training

  • Can programs use their stipends for one-time hiring bonuses?

    Yes, providers can determine how they use their stipends.

  • Is there a limit to the number of stipends a program can receive?

    While there is no set limit, data will be monitored to protect against misuse and to ensure staffing proportions align with a provider's reported enrollment.

  • Are there stipend limits per individual?

    One stipend will be issued per worker, regardless of whether they have changed programs or left and returned.

  • Do onboarding stipends apply to existing employees who are promoted to a new position?

    No, stipends apply only to new hires.

  • Do onboarding stipends apply to individuals who were furloughed and are now returning to work?

    No, stipends apply only to new hires.

  • What should I do if I receive an onboarding stipend for a new hire who fails to officially start the job?

    In the event that you receive an onboarding stipend for a new hire who fails to officially start in your program, you will not be expected to repay the stipend. Instead, you will be asked to use the stipend to cover costs associated with recruiting someone new to that position or to help offset short-term substitute costs to remain ratio compliant. Programs should keep record of how the funds were used.


  • Who should I contact with questions regarding onboarding stipends for new hires?

    For questions, contact OECOSLproviderinquiry@fssa.IN.gov.

Waived Co-Pays for CCDF Families

  • What is a CCDF co-payment?

    A copayment is a weekly fee for child care based on the CCDF Household’s income exceeding 100% of the federal poverty guidelines and their years of CCDF participation, utilizing the Office’s Child Care Income Eligibility Determination and Sliding Fee Scale.

  • What is the difference between a co-payment and an overage?

    The child care provider can charge more than the maximum CCDF reimbursement rate. If this occurs, then the extra cost above is referred to as an “overage”. An overage is defined as the portion of a provider’s charges which exceed the applicable county CCDF Reimbursement Rate. Providers may or may not charge overages. Families should speak with their provider regarding any overages, as they are not covered by the CCDF program.

  • Why are co-payments being waived for CCDF families?

    Indiana is temporarily waiving CCDF co-pays to provide relief for families and added financial security for child care programs.

  • How will families be notified that co-pays are being waived?

    Families utilizing CCDF vouchers will receive email and text communications from the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning, as well as notification through the CCDF family portal.

  • Are there resources available for programs to share the waived co-pay change with families?

    Yes, programs will receive a support communication toolkit to share the change with enrolled CCDF families. Access that toolkit here. Additionally, CCDF families will be notified through email, text and CCDF parent portal notifications

  • Am I required to take action to begin receiving payments for my families’ CCDF co-pays?

    No. Programs will receive payment for waived family co-pays as part of their regularly scheduled bi-weekly CCDF payment beginning April 28, 2021.

  • How will programs receive a family’s waived co-payment?

    Programs will receive payment for waived family co-pays as part of their regularly scheduled bi-weekly CCDF payment beginning April 28, 2021. For example, if a voucher’s full-time subsidy is normally $100 and the copay is $20, the state will reimburse the program $120 during the waived co-payment period. Please keep in mind, a child must have electronically documented attendance in order for the program to receive the co-payment. Also note: vouchers on the provider portal will still show the family co-payment during this waived copay period.

  • What happens if a program continues charging CCDF co-payments during the waived period?

    The program will be required to refund the co-pays to the family and pay back all co-payments made to them by the state. Follow-up by the program’s licensing consultant will also be initiated.

  • What should I do if I accidentally charged a family a co-payment?

    If you accidentally charge a family a co-payment, let the family know about the waived co-payments and refund them their co-payment.

  • Can I continue charging overages during the period of waived CCDF co-payments?

    Yes, you may continue charging overages.

  • Can programs collect on past due co-payment balances from before the waived period started?

    Providers are encouraged to use their normal collection process for collection of any prior co-payments. The state will not reimburse for any co-payments prior to March 28, 2021.

  • How will families be notified when waived co-pays will end?

    Families will be responsible for co-pays beginning March 14, 2022. Programs and families will receive reminder communications six weeks before co-pays resume.

  • What will the CCDF voucher state during the waived co-pay period?

    CCDF vouchers will not change during this program and will still show the parent co-payment amount.

  • How will families who are newly enrolling in CCDF during the waived co-payment period be notified of their co-payments beginning?

    Families will receive reminder communications beginning six weeks before co-pays are reenacted.

  • Who should I contact with questions regarding waived co-payments for CCDF families?

    For questions, contact OECOSLproviderinquiry@fssa.IN.gov.

Job Search Added as Valid Service Need for On My Way Pre-K and CCDF

  • Time period: April 2021 until funds/demand are depleted
  • Eligibility: Families that meet the income requirements of being at or below 127% of the Federal Poverty Level and are unemployed and seeking employment are eligible.
  • Description: As a temporary service to help families displaced from the workforce due to COVID-19 find new employment and more children enroll in quality child care programs, "Job Search” will be added as a valid service need for initial eligibility for On My Way Pre-K and CCDF-funded programs. This will be offered until funds are depleted or demand subsides.
  • Click HERE to apply for CCDF/On My Way Pre-K
  • Why is job search being added as a valid service need for On My Way Pre-K and CCDF?

    Adding “job search” as a valid service need for On My Way Pre-K and CCDF eligibility will provide support to families who have been displaced from the workforce due to COVID-19 as they seek new employment and return to work. This is a temporary support that will expire when funds run out or demand subsides.

  • Who is eligible to apply for assistance under the “job search” category?

    Families that meet the income requirements of being at or below 127% of the Federal Poverty Level and are unemployed and seeking employment are eligible

  • I am currently unemployed due to COVID-19. How do I apply for child care assistance while I look for a job?
  • How will eligibility be determined for individuals applying for assistance under this category?

    Families will apply through Early Ed Connect and then be contacted by the eligibility office for next steps in the enrollment process. Families will be asked to fill out some additional documentation as well as sign a form indicating they are currently unemployed and looking for employment.

  • If approved, what child care assistance will families receive?

    If approved, the family will receive a 53-week child care assistance voucher.

  • What happens if a family doesn’t find employment within the voucher period?

    If a family has not been successful in finding employment at the time of their voucher reauthorization, they will not be eligible to receive further assistance.

  • Will a family receive workforce development support to find a job while receiving child care assistance?

    Receiving CCDF assistance for child care will not keep a family from receiving workforce development support.

  • My child has an active CCDF voucher now, but I recently lost my job. Can I apply for assistance under this new category of assistance?

    If you are currently receiving CCDF vouchers, report your change in employment to your eligibility office so they can provide you with your options.

  • Who should I contact with questions or if I need help completing the online application for child care assistance?

    Contact the Brighter Futures Indiana Solution Center at solutioncenter@earlylearningindiana.org or (800) 299-1627.

Fundamentals for Business Sustainability Training

  • Time period: Complete by Aug. 31, 2021
  • How to Access: Log in to ilead.in.gov and click “Start Your Indiana Learning Path”. Once there, choose “Courses” from the left-side menu. Search for the training name and register.
  • Description: Required for all programs participating in Indiana’s Build, Learn, Grow program, the “Fundamentals for Business Sustainability” training empowers providers with new business management strategies to monitor the financial health of their business.
  • Who is required to complete the “Fundamentals for Business Sustainability” training?

    All programs receiving support through Indiana's Build, Learn, Grow program must must complete the SPARK “Fundamentals for Business Sustainability” training.

  • What is the deadline for completing the training?

    The deadline to complete the training is Aug. 31, 2021.

  • Who within a program should complete the training?

    The ideal person to complete this training is the leader or leaders who act as the business decision-makers for your program. This may be a chief financial officer, executive director, treasurer, owner, director, license applicant, family child care home owner, etc.

  • Where can I access the training?

    To access the training, log in to ilead.in.gov and click “Start Your Indiana Learning Path”. Once there, choose “Courses” from the left-side menu. Search for the training name and register. If you have already completed parts of the training, that will be reflected and you do not need to re-take those units.

  • How long will the training take to complete?

    The training includes seven hours of content. It does not need to be completed in one sitting.

  • What content does the training cover?

    The “Fundamentals for Business Sustainability” training empowers providers with new business management strategies to monitor the financial health of their business.

  • Does the training include approved in-service hours for PTQ?

    Yes, it includes seven hours of approved in-service training for PTQ.

  • Who should I contact for help accessing or completing the training?

    For assistance accessing or completing the training, contact the SPARK Help Desk at (800) 299-1627.

Program Enrollment Report

  • Time period: April 28-Dec. 31, 2021
  • How to Access: Programs will receive a monthly email with a link.
  • Description: To help provide insight into the early childhood education supply and demand gaps across our state and better inform ongoing relief and recovery efforts, programs will report their enrollment every month via the Program Enrollment Reporting tool.
  • Video: Learn more about what to expect in this video.
  • Why is the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning (OECOSL) requiring programs to report on enrollment?

    Enrollment data reported by programs will help provide insight into the early childhood education supply and demand gaps across our state and better inform ongoing relief and recovery efforts.

  • Who is required to complete the program enrollment report?

    All CCDF-eligible programs in Indiana are required to report their enrollment.

  • How will I receive the program enrollment report to complete?

    Programs will receive a link to the monthly program enrollment report via email and/or text. Sign up for text alerts by texting UPDATES to 465437.

  • What email address should I use to log in?

    Log in using the email address for the program administrator that is on file with OECOSL.

  • Who will receive the form at my program?

    The enrollment form will be sent to the program administrator on file with OECOSL.

  • I want to reassign this task to another staff person at my program site. How do I do that?

    Once logged in with the program administrator’s email address, you can update the contact information to the person you would like to start receiving and updating the form.

  • What information will programs be asked to report?

    The report asks for total capacity, the number of currently enrolled children, the number of open seats available for enrollment, and the number of seats open but unable to be filled due to outside factors such as staffing challenges.

  • If my enrollment does not change from month to month, do I still need to complete the form?

    Yes, you must still complete each report.

  • Am I required to report enrollment while my program is closed for the summer?

    The enrollment reporting tool contains an option to note that your program will close for the summer months. If your program closes for the summer, you can indicate that on your last report submission of the school year, and you will be excluded for reporting until the end of summer break.

  • How will information reported by programs be used?

    Enrollment data will populate a statewide enrollment dashboard to help OECOSL monitor supply and demand gaps and inform future investment efforts.

  • How long will programs be required to report enrollment information?

    The enrollment report will run through the end of 2021.

  • Who should I contact if I have questions or need assistance completing the form?

    For assistance, contact the Brighter Futures Indiana Solution Center at (800) 299-1627 or by email at Solutioncenter@earlylearningindiana.org

  • Who should I contact if I have trouble logging in?

    For assistance, contact the Brighter Futures Indiana Solution Center at (800) 299-1627 or by email at Solutioncenter@earlylearningindiana.org

  • What happens if programs do not complete the program enrollment report on time?

    In order to maintain good standing with licensing, programs should complete their monthly report on time. Those that fail to do so will receive communication from their licensing consultant.

One-Time Equipment and Supply Allowances

  • Time period: May 7-July 31, 2021
  • Eligibility: Programs must be CCDF eligible to receive a one-time equipment and supply allowance.
  • Description: One-time equipment and supply allowances were made available to programs from May 7-July 31, 2021. The program is now closed, and orders are no longer being accepted.
  • View Equipment and Supply Allowance User Guide
  • Who is eligible to receive a one-time equipment and supply allowance?

    All early childhood education and out-of-school programs that are CCDF eligible will receive the one-time allowance. School based programs (public or private) are not eligible.

  • What can one-time equipment and supply allowances be used for?

    In partnership with Fastenal, OECOSL is providing programs with a one-time allowance that they can use to purchase supplies from a pre-approved supply list.

  • How much of an allowance do programs receive?

    Allowances are based on auspice. Centers will receive $2,000; homes will receive $1,000; ministries will receive $1,500; and exempt programs will receive $800.

  • Who should I contact with questions or concerns?

    For user assistance, contact Fastenal Support at oecosl@fastenal.com or (866) 237-4647. For questions about the equipment and supply allowance program, contact the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning at OECOSLproviderinquiry@fssa.IN.gov.