The Fund for Quality (FFQ) is a partnership between Reinvestment Fund and Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), supported by funding from the William Penn Foundation, and Vanguard Strong Start for Kids Program. Through the provision of business planning support and facilities-related financing, Fund for Quality supports high-quality early care and education providers with expanding their services to reach more low-income families.
High-quality early learning experiences support positive child development and prepare children for success in school and beyond. Fund for Quality aims to expand the availability of quality early childhood education and care opportunities for low-income families living in the City of Philadelphia.
Providers may apply for planning grants to support organizational planning and project predevelopment to ensure a successful and high-quality expansion project. Based on successful completion of the planning phase, providers will be eligible to apply for capital grant awards of up to $300,000 and/or loan funds to support the expansion project.
Awardees will benefit from the advantages of larger scale business operations, and in turn, will be instrumental in reducing the overwhelming unmet demand for high-quality early care and education services in Philadelphia.
As of December 31, 2019, Fund for Quality has added more than 2,500 new child care seats in Philadelphia.
Before applying, please ensure your organization meets the following eligibility criteria:
- Existing high quality operator (Keystone STAR 3 and 4); if multi-site provider, more than 50% of sites at STAR 3 or greater
- Non‐profit or for‐profit organization
- Currently serving low‐income populations (defined as client population of at least 50% subsidy, or waitlist subsidy, Head Start or Pre‐K Counts) or able to demonstrate a commitment to serving low‐income families
- Positive attendance trends and strong business plan
- Organizational capacity for expansion
Before applying, please ensure your expansion project meets the following eligibility criteria:
- Proposed project will increase slot capacity (minimum 20; ideally 40 or more)
- Proposed expansion at a currently licensed facility (applicable to on-site expansions only)
- Proposed project to be located in Philadelphia
- Identification of expansion site
- Demonstration of ownership or long‐term lease of the expansion site (can be forthcoming for a project expansion to new location)
Preference will be given to applications and projects that consider the following:
- Serving vulnerable populations
- Expansion site located in Childcare Map priority areas:
— Lack of high‐quality ECE
— Areas of high‐poverty
— Unmet demand for ECE services
- Project expansion efficiency – evaluation of the projected timeline and projected cost per slot (calculated by total project cost/number of new childcare seats)
- Demonstration of previous program expansion
- Demonstration of sound governance and strong internal controls (including board of directors, advisory, etc)
Fund for Quality has a rolling application, however based upon current capacity, FFQ applications are closed until further notice. Interested providers with expansion projects for new classroom start dates beyond September 2020, are still encouraged to submit a FFQ Contact Sheet for review and to receive the most update to date information on current capacity. Please note, Fund for Quality requires a submitted application at least nine (9) months prior to your intended open date.
Please complete the Contact Sheet in the new grants management platform, Smart Simple, with the help of the provided instructional document. If necessary, a Word version of the Contact Sheet can alternatively be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org and accepted on a case by case basis.
All applicants must submit one complete application per expansion project.
The application is thorough and will also serve as a needs assessment for proposed projects. Please be sure to respond to all questions. If you do not yet have the information requested, please note the supports your organization will need to acquire or develop the requested information.
Applications must be complete. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
September 2020 Classroom(s) Openings FFQ has closed applications for projects with classrooms opening for September 2020 due to currant capacity and the minimum cut off deadline for application submission.
Childcare Center Design Guide
This guide may provide a current operating childcare provider or a prospective provider with information for the planning and design of early childhood spaces that highlight the high-quality early childhood care, education, mission, and vision of the center. This guide compiles licensing and regulatory requirements established by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) and the City of Philadelphia, as well as best practice recommendations per the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the Environment Rating Scale (ERS), and Caring for Our Children (CFOC).
Design for All builds upon the 2017 publication concept that a childcare center should encourage ALL children’s social, physical, intellectual, creative, and emotional development through play and learning. Design for All also calls attention to the unique needs of adults with disabilities who work in or visit a childcare center. Design for All should be viewed as a collection of new items that current or prospective providers can incorporate into the renovation or design of a childcare facility. Similar to the 2017 Design Guide, implementing the Design for All concepts will require concurrent consideration of regulatory requirements and recommended practices.
NOTE: Information related to the purchase or construction of a center should be reviewed with professionals such as architects, engineers, zoning officials, and other licensing agencies that have jurisdiction over childcare centers prior to a purchase or when planning for a construction project.
Childcaremap.org is an interactive tool that helps identify the neighborhoods where high-quality care is most scarce, and where investments are most needed. Interested providers seeking expansion projects will utilize this tool to define gaps and outline expansion need in their applications. Also note the addition of the Potential Childcare Facilities information.
For more information or questions on Childcare Map please contact Brian Blacker at email@example.com.