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 2,200 new child care seats in Philadelphia.

Read more details from the Fund’s March 8, 2016 press release



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)


While the application is accepted on a rolling basis, Fund for Quality has submission guidelines based on your intended start date for your expansion classrooms. Providers desiring to have a completed expansion by September 2020, must submit a completed Fund for Quality application by January 31, 2020. For new classroom start dates beyond September 2020, Fund for Quality requires a submitted application at least nine (9) months prior to your intended open date.

Interested applicants must complete the FFQ Contact Sheet to provide information about their proposed child care expansion project prior to the application submission deadline of January 31, 2020 for September 2020 projects. 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 and accepted on a case by case basis. Upon review, FFQ staff will contact you to schedule an appointment to discuss your expansion project and next steps for application submission.

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.

Key Dates

Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. However, we will not consider an application that is submitted within less than 6 months of the intended construction project completion date.

Please note: the cut-off deadline is a minimum and will not ensure timely project completion. Please check with FFQ staff to understand the best time to submit an application for your project.

January 31, 2020

FFQ Application Cut-off Date: Projects scheduled for construction completion in September 2020 will not be considered for funding after this cut-off date.

9 months prior to start date

FFQ Application Cut-off Date: Projects scheduled beyond September 2020 will not be considered for funding after this cut-off date.

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).

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.

Childcare Map 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

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For more information about Fund for Quality or for those interested in donating, please contact LaToshia Sanders, Project Manager, at