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

Build, Learn, Grow

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

Learn more about the program

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  • HELPING PROVIDERS REBUILD AND STRENGTHEN AFTER THE PANDEMIC

    Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grants are designed to provide critical funding to early childhood and school-age providers to support their program’s operating expenses across six categories and help rebuild their programs for the future. The first round of Stabilization Grants closed on Dec. 30, 2021, awarding more than $152 million to 2,777 providers across the state. The application period for Round 2 will open the week of Jan. 17 and run through April 15.

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Eligibility

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Early childhood and school-age programs are eligible to apply if they were licensed and/or registered to operate by March 11, 2021, (if not CCDF eligible) or Jan. 14, 2022, if active in the CCDF program. Programs must be in good standing, open and serving children on the date of application, and meeting state and local health requirements. Head Start and Early Head Start grant recipients are not eligible.

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Statewide Impact

Stabilization grants awarded during Round 1 totaled over $152 million and reached more than 2,777 early childhood and school-age providers across the state. Awarded providers have used their grants to increase staff wages, provide staff appreciation events, offer bonuses, hire additional staff and offer new professional development opportunities.

View the Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grant Dashboard

Allowable Expenses

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Providers may use  Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grant funds across six categories of allowable expenses to cover costs incurred from Jan. 31, 2020-Sept. 30, 2023. These allowable expense categories include the categories below.

Descargue la Guía de gastos permitidos en español.

  • Personnel Costs

    Personnel costs include expenses related to hiring, compensating, training or retaining staff.

    Examples of these expenses include:

    • Payroll and salaries
    • Premium pay (e.g., higher wages provided to employees who work holidays, weekends, nights, vacation days or more than eight hours a day)
    • Recruitment incentives
    • Staff bonuses
    • Wage increases
    • Employee benefits (health, dental, vision, insurance)
    • Retirement costs and contributions
    • Educational costs (professional development, training, scholarships, etc.)
    • Child care costs for staff
    • Paid sick or family leave
    • Work-related transportation costs for employees (e.g., transportation and mileage reimbursement for educational training programs, etc.)
    • Support for getting the COVID-19 vaccine (appointments, paid sick leave, transportation, etc.)

    Records or supporting documentation for these types of expenses may include:

    • Payroll and benefit records
    • Employee timecards
    • Invoices, receipts and check information for professional development trainings
    • Documentation of other benefits provided to child care staff members such as overage of insurance costs or tuition reimbursement
    • Bank statements
  • Facility Fees, Maintenance and Improvements

    Programs may use grant funds for expenses required to pay for, maintain or improve their facilities.

    Examples of these expenses include:

    • Rent, lease or mortgage payments
    • Business utility bills (heat, electric, phone, Wi-Fi service, etc.)
    • Liability and/or accident insurance, transportation insurance, homeowner's insurance, business insurance, etc.
    • Late fees or charges from late payments
    • Facility maintenance or minor improvements such as:
      • Upgrading playgrounds
      • Renovating bathrooms
      • Installing ramps, railings and other accessibility features
      • Removing non-loadbearing walls to create more space for social distancing
      • Replacing carpet with linoleum or another easily cleaned surface
      • Installing touch-free faucets or light switches

    Please note that grant funds from this category CANNOT be used for construction or major renovations/remodeling (e.g., structural changes to foundations and loadbearing walls, extensive alterations of a facility, etc.).

    Records or supporting documentation for these types of expenses may include:

    • Mortgage/rent/space cost statements
    • Utility statements
    • Original invoices and/or receipts for purchases of materials/supplies
    • Bank statements
  • COVID-19 Safety-Related Needs

    Programs may use grant funds to purchase, replenish or update equipment and supplies used in response to COVID-19.

    Examples of these expenses include:

    • Personal protective equipment (gloves, masks, digital thermometers, face shields, changing table paper, etc.)
    • Cleaning and sanitation supplies and services (cleaning/disinfecting wipes, ventilation systems, vacuums, washer/dryer, bleach, hand sanitizer, spray bottles, soaps, garbage bags, professional cleaning and sanitation services, independent cleaning services, etc.)
    • Training and professional development on health and safety practices (OECOSL-approved trainings on health and safety requirements and best practices, staff time to review and prepare for CDC guidance, etc.)
    • Indoor and outdoor equipment and supplies (portable partitions, plastic shields, sink installation, disposable utensils and dishes, COVID-19 signage, storage containers, etc.)
    • Business items needed to respond to new challenges (software for tracking attendance, communicating with parents, etc.)

    Records or supporting documentation for these types of expenses may include:

    • Original invoices and/or receipts for purchases of materials/supplies
    • Employee timecards
    • Invoices, receipts and check information for professional development trainings
    • Bank statements
  • Goods and Services Necessary to Resume and Strengthen Operations

    Programs may use grant funds for expenses that support them in maintaining or resuming full operations, as well as making investments in goods and services that strengthen their programs for the long-term.

    Examples of these expenses include:

    • Food and beverage services for program-provided meals
    • Equipment and materials necessary to run a child care business
    • Materials for play and learning
    • Materials for eating
    • Materials for diapering and toileting
    • Materials to ensure safe sleep
    • Business automation training and support services (e.g., child care management systems)
    • Costs for shared services (e.g., Shared Service Alliances)
    • Child care management services (online payroll systems, accounting services)
    • Transportation services
    • Janitorial or cleaning services
    • OECOSL-approved trainers for staff

    Records or supporting documentation for these types of expenses may include:

    • Original invoices and/or receipts for purchases of materials/supplies
    • Bank statements
    • Invoices, receipts and check information for professional development trainings

  • Mental Health Supports for Children and Employees

    Programs may use grant funds to support costs related to the mental health and well-being of their children and employees.

    Examples of these expenses include:

    • Childhood mental health supports (e.g., infant/toddler and early childhood mental health consultation services, targeted programming, etc.)
    • Mental health consultations and other mental health supports for staff
      • Staff training and development
      • Coaching
      • Team building
      • Resiliency and stress management
      • Staffing patterns and schedules
      • Program materials and supplies
    • Family engagement
      • Parent/teacher conferences
      • Books and other materials children can take home
      • Activities like family game nights

    Records or supporting documentation for these types of expenses may include:

    • Original invoices and/or receipts for purchases
    • Employee timecards
    • Invoices, receipts and check information for professional development trainings
    • Bank statements
  • Health and Safety Training

    Programs may use grant funds for costs associated with training staff in health and safety measures.

    Examples of these expenses include:

    • Professional development training to meet state and local health and safety guidelines, including those related to:
      • Health and safety training
      • Medication Administration Training (MAT)
      • Prevention of and responses to food and allergic reactions
      • CPR and First Aid
      • Health care consultants
      • Behavioral specialists
      • Infant toddler specialists
      • Additional staff to provide support for children and classrooms based on children's needs

    Records or supporting documentation for these types of expenses may include:

    • Original invoices or receipts
    • Payroll records
    • Employee timecards
    • Invoices, receipts and check information for professional development trainings
    • Bank statements

Awarded programs are required to keep expenditure records and supporting documentation related to how funding was spent for state and federal reporting purposes.

  • Application Process

    Applying for and receiving a Stabilization Grant is a quick and streamlined process. How it works:

    1. Round 2 applications open the week of Jan. 17 and run through April 15.
    2. Grants are awarded on a rolling basis and non-competitive in nature.
    3. Grant amounts in Round 2 will cover approximately five months of operating expenses. Grants are calculated per site based on each provider’s program type, average attendance, staffing costs, quality level and geography.
    4. To begin a Round 2 application, providers should log in to I-LEAD to access the mobile-friendly application. Any available state data is pre-populated within the application, allowing providers to confirm or change as needed.
    5. Upon award, grant funds will be electronically deposited into providers’ bank accounts within three weeks of grant approval. Awarded programs have until Sept. 30, 2023, to spend grant funds.

    Grant awards for Round 2 are capped at $850,000 per site.

    Stabilization App User Guide 10 5 21




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Grant Expense Reporting Process

Reporting Stabilization Grant expenses is a quick and streamlined process.

How it works:​

  1. All programs awarded a Round 1 Stabilization Grant must complete a Grant Expense Report. The first report for Round 1 opens the week of Jan. 17 and must be complete by April 15.​
  2. To begin a Round 1 Expense Report, providers should log in to I-LEAD to access the mobile-friendly application and click on the “Reporting” tab in the Stabilization Grant portal.​
  3. Providers who received a grant in Round 1, must complete a Grant Expense Report before applying for a Round 2 grant. After submitting the Expense Report providers can access their Round 2 application.​
  4. Participating providers will be notified when future reporting periods open.
Download the Expense Reporting User Guide​

Support

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For support with the Build, Learn, Grow  Child Care Stabilization Grant process, review the FAQs below or contact the SPARK Help Desk at (800) 299-1627 or email help@indianaspark.com. Live chat is also available on indianaspark.com or in My SPARK Learning Lab.

Eligibility FAQs

The information below has been updated to reflect additional details related to the second round of Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization grant funding.​

  • What programs are eligible to receive grant funding?

    To be eligible, programs must be a licensed child care center, licensed family child care home, unlicensed registered ministry or legally licensed-exempt program and meet the below criteria:

    • Have been licensed or registered through OECOSL to operate in the state of Indiana on or before March 11, 2021 if not active in the CCDF program OR licensed by Jan. 14, 2022 if active in the CCDF program
    • Be open and currently serving children
    • Have a license or registration that is in good standing at the time of application submission
    • NOT be a current Head Start or Early Head Start grant recipient. (Child Care Partnerships may apply for a Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grant for portions of their enrollment not supported by Head Start or Early Head Start funding.)

    Programs that received a grant during Round 1 are required to submit a Grant Expense Report prior to being eligible to submit a grant application for Round 2.

  • What does it mean to be a program in “good standing”?

    To be in good standing for the purposes of this grant, a program must be compliant with Indiana’s regulations for licensed or registered care and may not be in an active repayment process or the subject of an active investigation or enforcement action by OECOSL.

    Questions regarding OECOSL enforcement status should be directed to your licensing consultant or to oecoslproviderinquiry@fssa.in.gov. Licensing consultant contact information can be found in the maps below.

  • If I received a grant in Round 1, am I eligible to apply for a grant in Round 2?

    If you received a grant in Round 1, you must complete a Grant Expense Report before you can apply for a Round 2 grant. You are required to complete a Grant Expense Report before applying regardless of the date you received your grant, and even if you've not yet spent any funds. ​

  • I applied for a grant in Round 1 but have not yet received confirmation and/or the grant funds. Can I apply for a Round 2 grant? ​

    No, you are not able to apply for a Round 2 grant until you've submitted a Round 1 grant expense report, which you can only do after receiving your grant funds. Contact oecoslproviderinquiry@fssa.in.gov for questions.​

  • If my program was open before the COVID-19 pandemic and closed due to financial hardship but I want to reopen, am I eligible to apply for and receive funding?

    No. To be eligible, programs must meet all eligibility criteria including being open and currently serving children at the time of application submission. Future opportunities may be available for programs wishing to apply for reopening support.

  • Are On My Way Pre-K programs eligible?

    Yes. Programs that receive funds through the On My Way Pre-k program are eligible to apply but must attest that grant funds will be used for their intended purposes and not to replace other costs.

  • Are Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) or public, non-public, or charter schools eligible?

    Yes, LEAs that have been issued a license or registration from OECOSL are eligible. LEAs are exempt from the 25% requirement to invest funds to enhance staff wages and benefits, but please refer to your provider grant agreement PDF for specific grant requirements. ​

  • If my program is eligible but I do not wish to receive funds, can I decline?

    Programs are not required to apply or participate in the program.

  • Can I apply if I have a pending application for a child care license?

    No. To be eligible, providers must meet all eligibility requirements including being licensed/registered by March 11, 2021 if not participating in the CCDF program OR by Jan. 14, 2022 if participating in the CCDF program. Providers licensed or registered after this date may be eligible for future funding opportunities.

  • If I applied for and received financial support from another source, am I eligible for these funds?

    Yes. However, providers accepting these funds must ensure the funds are not used to pay for expenses already covered by other federal, state or local relief funds or grants.

Grant Details FAQs

  • What is the purpose of the Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grants?

    Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grants are designed to provide short-term funding to early care and education and out-of-school time programs that have faced increased costs and challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing them to stabilize their operations and build capacity for the future.

  • When is the deadline to apply?​

    The application for the second round of funding opens the week of Jan. 17, 2022 and is open until April 15, 2022. Applications will not be accepted after April 15. ​

  • How can grants be used?

    Child care programs may use Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grant funds across six categories of allowable expenses, for reimbursement of expenses incurred from Jan. 31, 2020–Sept. 30, 2023. These allowable expense categories include:

    • Personnel Costs: Personnel costs include expenses related to hiring, compensating, training or retaining staff.
    • Facility Fees, Maintenance and Improvements: Programs may use grant funds for expenses required to pay for, maintain or improve their facilities.
    • COVID-19 Safety-Related Needs: Programs may use grant funds to purchase, replenish or update equipment and supplies used in response to COVID-19.
    • Goods and Services Necessary to Resume and Strengthen Operations: Programs may use grant funds for expenses that support them in maintaining or resuming full operations, as well as making investments in goods and services that strengthen their programs for the long-term.
    • Mental Health Supports for Children and Employees: Programs may use grant funds to support costs related to the mental health and well-being of their children and employees.
    • Health and Safety Training: Programs may use grant funds for costs associated with training staff in health and safety measures.

    Download the Allowable Expense Guide

  • What is required of me if my program accepts these funds?
  • Are family child care homes (FCCH) required to use at least 25% of the grant to increase staff wages or benefits?

    If your family child care home has only one employee (you), you are not required to invest at least 25% of your grant award toward increasing staff wages or benefits. You are welcome to use your grant funds in this way, but you are not required to adhere to this provider agreement stipulation. If your FCCH has employees other than you, then you must follow this requirement.

  • How much funding can programs receive in Round 2? ​

    Grant awards vary by program and are calculated at the provider site level using a cost estimation formula that considers program type, average attendance, staffing, quality level and geography.

    For the second grant period, awarded programs will receive grants totaling approximately five months of monthly operating expenses. Funding for future grant rounds may vary, and grants for Round 2 are capped at $850,000 per program. This cap is not cumulative of Rounds 1 and Round 2, but rather specific to Round 2. ​

  • How far back can I go to reimburse my program for previous expenses?

    Programs may use Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grant funds to cover expenses incurred from Jan. 31, 2020–Sept. 30, 2023.

  • Do I have to pay back grant funds?

    These funds are not considered a loan, and child care providers who comply with funding requirements will not be required to pay them back. However, funding recipients found to have violated the terms of the application process or attestation, or who are found to have provided false or misleading information to OECOSL regarding funding requirements, may be asked to repay funds, be deemed ineligible for future grant rounds, and/or be referred to Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration Audits Department for additional action.

    Additionally, programs that close permanently during the grant period will be required to return any unused funds.

  • How will I receive grant funds?

    The application period for the second grant round runs through April 15, 2022, and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Upon award, grant funds will be electronically deposited into providers' bank accounts within three weeks of grant approval. ​

  • Is there a limit to the number of programs that will be funded?

    No. Funds are in place so that every eligible program can receive at least one grant per site.

  • Do I have to provide receipts or documentation of how my program spent grant funds?​

    All programs receiving a Stabilization Grant must submit a Grant Expense Report for each round of grant funding indicating how grant funds were used.

    Additionally, federal regulations require all recipients of federal funds to keep financial documents for five years. You will only be required to produce the receipts if your program is selected for an audit to provide evidence of expenditures, as indicated in your grant. Expenditure records and supporting documentation examples include:

    • Mortgage/rent/space cost statements
    • Utility statements
    • Payroll and benefit records
    • Original invoices and/or receipts for purchases of materials/supplies
    • Documentation of other benefits provided to child care staff members such as overage of insurance costs or tuition reimbursement

    Download the Allowable Expense Guide to see examples of acceptable documentation for each category.

  • What is the deadline for my program to spend grant funds?

    All funds must be spent by Sept. 30, 2023, per federal guidance.

  • Am I required to repay or return funds if my program closes after receiving funding?

    If a program closes during the grant period, the provider will be required to return any remaining grant funds.

  • Are Stabilization Grants considered taxable income?​

    Yes. All programs will receive a 1099 for grant funds received. OECOSL recommends consulting with your tax professional for tax-related concerns. If you do not currently have a tax professional, contact the SPARK Help Desk at (800) 299-1627 or email help@indianaspark.com. ​

  • Can Stabilization Grants be used to support programs that serve children over age 12?

    No. Stabilization Grant funds can only be used to support programs serving children up to 13 years of age. This is in accordance with guidance from the Office of Child Care and because these funds are coming through CCDF which only serves children up to 13 years of age.

Application Process FAQs

  • How do I apply for a Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grant?​

    Applications for the second round of funding will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning the week of Jan. 17, 2022, through April 15, 2022. To apply, providers should log in to I-LEAD and click on the homepage button that says, "Launch the Stabilization Grant Portal." Applications will not be accepted after 11:59 p.m. ET on April 15, 2022.​

  • Is the Round 2 application different from Round 1?​

    The Round 2 application experience is very similar to Round 1. Slight updates to the Round 2 application include additional pre-filled information carried over from Round 1 and adjustments to the cost model to account for food costs for programs not participating in CACFP and for those programs that invested in increased staff wages following Round 1. ​

  • Is the online application the only way to apply?

    Yes, the application is only available online and must be submitted electronically. It can be completed using a computer or mobile device. The application works best in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge.

  • If I received a grant in Round 1, do I need to do anything before applying for a Round 2 grant?​

    Yes, you are required to complete a Round 1 Grant Expense Report before applying regardless of the date you received your grant, and even if you've not yet spent any funds. For more information, please consult the Stabilization Grant Expense Reporting Guide.​

  • In what languages is the application available?

    The application is available in English, Spanish, French and Burmese.

  • How do I change languages in the application?

    To change languages in the application, please see the application guide for instructions.

  • Where can I get help filling out the grant application?

    If you need assistance, review the help resources available on this page or contact the SPARK Help Desk at (800) 299-1627 or email help@indianaspark.com. Live chat is also available on indianaspark.com or in My SPARK Learning Lab. The Help Desk is available Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • What do I need to apply for the grant?

    To simplify the application process for providers, much of the information has been pre-populated based on your license number. To confirm the information is correct and complete any remaining fields, you will need your:

    • Program enrollment information by classroom
    • Average monthly expenses including staff salary/wage and benefits information
    • Bank account information to set up direct deposit and have your award deposited directly into your account (Note: This only applies to programs that are not yet set up in the state’s payment system.)

    Download the Stabilization Grant Worksheet to prepare for submitting your application.

    Descargue la Hoja de trabajo de subvención de estabilización para prepararse para enviar su solicitud.

  • I am unsure how to respond to a question in the grant application. Who should I contact?

    If you need assistance, review the help resources available on this page, or contact the SPARK Help Desk at (800) 299-1627 or email help@indianaspark.com. Live chat is also available on indianaspark.com or in My SPARK Learning Lab. The Help Desk is available Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • Do I have to complete the full application at once, or can I save and return later?

    The grant system allows providers to save their application progress and return later to complete it.

  • Does the grant application time out? If so, will I lose my work?

    The grant application will time out after two hours of inactivity. If it times out, you will lose your work.

  • If I click, “Back” will I lose the information I have entered on the current screen?

    The portal will save information you have entered during the current session.

  • What should I do if my program’s information does not appear in the portal?

    To submit an application on behalf of a program, you must be a Program Admin on the account. If you are not a Program Admin, an existing Program Admin must invite you to become an admin on the account by logging into their I-LEAD account, selecting the provider site, clicking “Invite Admin,” and adding your information. For further assistance, contact the SPARK Learning Lab at (800) 299-1627 or email help@indianaspark.com.

    If you are an existing Admin on the account and do not see your site’s information listed, please contact the SPARK Help Desk at (800) 299-1627 or email help@indianaspark.com. Live chat is also available on indianaspark.com or in My SPARK Learning Lab. The Help Desk is available Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • What if my program’s information appears incorrectly on the grant application?

    If you come across incorrect pre-filled information in the grant application, please contact your licensing consultant to request the information be updated. Providers should allow up to 48 hours for information to be updated in the grant portal, and should wait to submit their application until all information appears correctly. Licensing consultant contact information can be found in the maps below.

  • Do I have to enter my bank information to be paid?

    Providers who entered banking information for a Round 1 grant do not need to re-enter this information. Providers who are applying for the first time should add their banking information if prompted in order to receive their grant payment. ​

  • What is included on the application?

    The application is pre-filled with your basic provider information, which you will review and confirm. You will be asked to enter enrollment and staffing information including age groups served by classroom (if applicable), number of staff present at a time, average attendance and classroom capacity, which helps determine your monthly operating expenses, which you will be asked to confirm or edit based on actual monthly operating expenses. The application also asks for banking information for direct deposit and your plans to use your grant funds by allowable expense category. Refer to this Application User Guide to prepare. ​

    If you applied for a grant in Round 1, you will only be asked to review/confirm information from Round 1. You will be able to edit it as necessary. ​

    The application also asks you to confirm the general program assumptions that support the application's underlying cost model, as this helps OECOSL more effectively calculate grant amounts and inform long-term system changes.

  • Do multi-site organizations apply under one application, or do I complete an application for each site?

    Providers must apply for each site separately.

  • The site says my program is not eligible for a Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grant. Who can I contact with questions?

    Eligibility questions can be sent to the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning at oecoslproviderinquiry@fssa.in.gov.

  • How long does it take to complete the application?

    While the time it takes to complete the application will vary by person, we recommend planning 20 minutes to complete each site application.

  • Is the application mobile friendly?

    Yes. The application can be completed on a smart phone or tablet, as well as a computer. The application works best in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge.

  • How will I be notified of my grant award?

    In most cases, providers will receive their award confirmation and the grant amount at the end of the grant application. If, however, a grant needs to undergo further review before award confirmation, providers will be notified of their grant award within seven business days.

    The system will generate automated email notifications from noreply@mail.childcaregrants.fssa.in.gov when an application has been submitted, an application has been reviewed/awarded or an application needs further review or action. If you do not see a notification when you think you should have one, be sure to check your SPAM folder. Your application status can also be viewed by checking within the grant application portal.

  • What if I don’t know my program’s operating expenses?

    Contact the SPARK Help Desk at (800) 299-1627 or email help@indianaspark.com for assistance. Live chat is also available on indianaspark.com or in My SPARK Learning Lab. The Help Desk is available Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • How close do my program expenses need to be to the cost estimation provided in the portal?

    On the Program Expenses page, a cost range is displayed that considers program type, average attendance, staffing costs, quality level and geography. A program’s expenses must fall within in this range. If expenses are outside of that range, providers will need to click “No” and provide updated information for the system to recalculate.

  • If we permanently increased staff wages since applying in Round 1, how do we account for these changes on our Round 2 application?

    If you permanently increased staff wages between Round 1 and Round 2, you will indicate that in the Grant Expense Report. The information you provide will be taken into account for your Round 2 award total, which you will be able to review and confirm during the Round 2 application process.​

  • If approved, how soon will I receive payment?

    Upon award, grant funds will be electronically deposited into providers’ bank accounts within three weeks of grant approval.

  • Can I split my grant payment across multiple bank accounts?

    No. You may only use one bank account for grant payments.

  • How will I know how much I should expect to receive?

    Grant awards are calculated at the program site level within the application using a cost estimation model. The cost estimation formula considers each provider’s program type, average attendance, staffing costs, quality level and geography. Providers will receive a total award amount during the application process so they are aware of the funding total they should expect to receive.

  • Am I required to agree to all grant agreements?

    Yes. To receive funds, providers must confirm that they understand and plan to adhere to all grant requirements during the grant period. Review the grant agreements here. Descargue el Acuerdo de proveedor para subvenciones de estabilización build, learn, grow.

  • For what reasons might my application be denied?

    Applications may be denied based on a program’s inability to meet eligibility criteria or due to falsification of application information.

  • What if information about my program (e.g., address, ownership, authorized agents, etc.) changes after I submit my application?

    Programs should immediately contact their licensing consultant if there are pending changes to their program address, ownership or operational status.

  • Who can complete the grant application for program sites?

    Those designated as Program Administrators in I-LEAD are the only ones with access to complete a program site’s grant application.

  • After I complete an application for my first site, how do I access applications for my other sites?

    To access an application for another program site, return to the grants portal home screen and click “Grants” at the top of the screen. Additional sites will appear. Click on them to start the application for those sites.

  • How do I become a Program Administrator for my program in I-LEAD?

    You will need an existing Program Admin to invite you to become an admin. Once you accept the emailed invitation, you will be able to manage the site’s account.

    Existing admins can add you by logging into their I-LEAD account, selecting the provider site, clicking “Invite Admin,” and adding your information. If you require further assistance, contact the SPARK Learning Lab at (800) 299-1627 or email help@indianaspark.com.

  • I need to update my banking information with the state. What should I do?

    To update your banking information, complete a W-9 and this banking form and void a check. Send the W-9, banking form, and voided check to the Provider Inquiry email at OECOSLproviderinquiry@fssa.IN.gov for processing. Please do not send the banking form back to Conduent. (Note, W-9 forms must have a signature date within the last 30 days.)

  • What should I do if I submitted an application but have not received any follow-up communication?

    You should receive automated email notifications from noreply@mail.childcaregrants.fssa.in.gov when your application has been submitted, reviewed/awarded, or needs further review or action. If you do not see a notification when you think you should have one, be sure to check your SPAM folder. If you still have not received an email communication, contact the SPARK Help Desk at (800) 299-1627 or email help@indianaspark.com. Live chat is also available on indianaspark.com or in My SPARK Learning Lab.

  • What if we are unsure how we plan to use the funds? Should we check all allowable expense categories in the grant application?

    If you’re unsure how to use your grant funds, contact the SPARK Help Desk for support at (800) 299-1627 or email help@indianaspark.com. They can walk you through the best options for your program. Then select the categories you feel most certain about for use of your grant funds.

  • Can I put all funds toward a single category?

    Programs (excluding LEAs) must invest at least 25% of grant funds toward increasing staff wages and benefits. You may invest the other 75% in a single category if you believe it to be the best use of your grant funds.

  • What if we select a category on the application and then later discover we need to use funds for a higher-priority need?

    OECOSL will give providers leniency in making these types of changes so long as the higher-priority need falls within the allowable expense category.

  • What should I do if I submit the application and need to change something?

    Applications may only be re-opened under special circumstances. Please contact the SPARK Help Desk at (800) 299-1627 or email help@indianaspark.com.

  • Who is considered an employee?

    An employee is anyone who is on payroll working in your program.

  • Do I count myself as an employee?

    If you work for a center or ministry then you should count yourself. If you are reporting for a FCCH the homeowner/licensee should not be included as an employee.

  • How should family child care homes that operate 24 hours or multiple shifts add classrooms?

    Family child care homes (FCCH) should not add additional classrooms but rather enter the typical number of children served during the main part of the day as one classroom. The system will then provide the FCCH with cost estimates based on 12-hours-a-day of care. If your FCCH is open for longer than 12 hours per day, you can provide that detail by overriding the cost estimate on the Monthly Expenses screen. It's important to note the system is calculating your program's monthly operating expenses, not reimbursing you on a per-child basis. Contact the SPARK Help Desk at 1-800-299-1627 for further assistance.

  • What should I do if I am unsure of my program's monthly expenses or unsure how to calculate them?

    Reach out to the SPARK Help Desk for support at 1-800-299-1627. SPARK professionals can help you assess and calculate your program’s expenses to prepare for your application.

Post-Award Support and Considerations FAQs

  • I received funding during Round 1. Am I required to complete a grant report?

    Yes. As part of grant acceptance, programs agree to complete two grants reports for each round of funding: a mid-term report at three months post-award/before completing a Round 2 application and a final report at the conclusion of the grant period. These reports, which are completed using the online portal, will collect important information on programs' use of these funds and fulfill required state and federal reporting documentation.

  • What is the process for completing a grant report?

    To complete a grant report, you must be a Program Admin in I-LEAD. Log in to I-LEAD and access the Stabilization Grant portal through the button on the homepage. Then select the Reporting tab and your program site to begin the grant report. You will enter expense amounts by category, even if the answer is $0. You must complete this Grant Expense Report before you are eligible to complete a Round 2 grant application. Reference the Grant Expense Reporting Guide for step-by-step details.

  • In the Grant Expense Report, what qualified as a permanent wage increase?

    For questions related to staff wage increases or staff wages after the grant, you should only include permanent wage increases that will continue for the long term. Do not include temporary staff bonuses or short-term wage increases as a permanent increase in pay.

  • Are there resources available to help me decide how to best use or invest grant funds into our program?

    Yes. OECOSL has partnered with SPARK Learning Lab to provide pre- and post-award support and technical assistance to awarded programs. Support includes hosted webinars for field experts to share best practices for the use of grant funds and peer-sharing events, as well as post-award technical assistance including a cohort-based approach to supporting programs as they account for funds, explore and make decisions for the use of funds, and track related expenses.

  • Can programs blend Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization funds with grant funding received through other public or private sources?

    Awarded programs may use Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grant funds across nine categories of allowable expenses, for reimbursement of expenses incurred from Jan. 31, 2020 – Sept. 30, 2023. Programs are required to document spending and be prepared to share those records should OECOSL request them by audit.

    Allowable expense categories include:

    • Personnel Costs: Personnel costs include expenses related to hiring, compensating, training or retaining staff.
    • Facility Fees, Maintenance and Improvements: Programs may use grant funds for expenses required to pay for, maintain or improve their facilities.
    • COVID-19 Safety-Related Needs: Programs may use grant funds to purchase, replenish or update equipment and supplies used in response to COVID-19.
    • Goods and Services Necessary to Resume and Strengthen Operations: Programs may use grant funds for expenses that support them in maintaining or resuming full operations, as well as making investments in goods and services that strengthen their programs for the long-term.
    • Mental Health Supports for Children and Employees: Programs may use grant funds to support costs related to the mental health and well-being of their children and employees.
    • Health and Safety Training: Programs may use grant funds for costs associated with training staff in health and safety measures.
  • How will technical assistance help me post-award?

    Post-award, technical assistance will help you consider how you can invest funds for the greatest impact and support any reporting or tracking needs or questions you may have. It will also give you the opportunity to learn from other programs of similar type, size and situation. Technical assistance includes support that could encompass trainings (online or in person), resources (job aids), coaching (onsite and/or virtual), program assessment tools and peer-to-peer learning opportunities.

  • When am I required to complete a grant report?

    You must complete a Grant Expense Report before applying for a Round 2 grant.

  • Do I have to complete a Grant Expense Report if we haven't spent all or any of our Round 1 grant funds?

    Yes. You must complete the report even if you haven't spend all or any of the Round 1 funds.

  • What information will be required for grant reporting?

    Your Grant Expense Report will ask for the total dollar amount of grant funds spent per allowable expense category. Receipts and documentation are not required, though federal law requires you to keep them on file for five years.

  • What if I don't spend all grant funds by the end of the grant period?

    In accepting the grant award, you are required to spend all grand funds by the Sept. 30, 2023 deadline. Failure to do so will result in having to repay unused funds.

  • Can I use funds to pay for financial consultation to help me consider how to best use my grant?

    Yes, financial consultation is permitted.

  • How can I view my Stabilization payment on HoosierChildCare.com?

    Your Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization payment will be deposited to your account in a one-time payment aligned to CCDF payment schedule. Learn how to check for your payment on HoosierChildCare.com here.

Security, Privacy and Fraud Prevention FAQs

  • Is immigration or citizenship information being shared with the federal government?

    No provider-level information is being shared with the federal government. Only required information will be shared.

  • Why is OECOSL asking about my program’s expenses?

    The questions asked and provider information provided inform the cost estimation model, which produces the grant award amount. Individual program data will not be published in any way, but aggregated data will help to inform changes to the state’s cost model and future reimbursement structures.

  • How will data from my application be used?

    Like other states, Indiana intends to use aggregated data collected through the grant program to expand the findings of the recently conducted Narrow Cost Analysis and to ultimately reassess and make updates to the state’s cost model and future reimbursement structures.

  • Will OECOSL be publishing any of the data collected as part of Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grant applications?

    No. OECOSL will not be publishing the grant recipients nor the data they provide as part of the application.

  • Is the data in providers’ applications and the information about funding awards public data?

    Most funding application data is classified as public data, and if requested, must be made available to the person requesting it. Examples of private data that cannot be shared with the public are an individual’s Social Security information and data that can potentially identify children in programs. If you have data-related inquiries, please contact oecoslproviderinquiry@fssa.in.gov.