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Childcare Entrepreneur Fund Pilot

Family childcare educators are crucial to Boston. They take care of our most precious treasure: our children.

We want to find ways to support educators and expand access to childcare for Boston families. It is one of the many ways we can encourage a healthy development for all of Boston. That is why Mayor Walsh launched the Childcare Entrepreneur Fund Pilot.

The Fund offers support to owners of childcare businesses in Boston. Fund recipients attend business training and receive grant funding for their business.

Timeline

The first Childcare Entrepreneur Fund Cohort will celebrate their graduation on May, 2, 2020. Please stay tuned for the announcement of the second funding round this summer. Want to get updates sent directly to your inbox? Complete our online contact form.

Watch: Boston's new Childcare Entrepreneur Fund

Common questions

Common questions

You will receive the grant after you participate in at least six small business workshops, with a cohort of other small childcare providers, which will be hosted in early 2020. During these workshops, providers will refine the application for the grant. Funds will be disbursed in early spring after the conclusion of the workshop series. 

New businesses are eligible for grants up to $2,000. Existing business are eligible for grants up to $4,000. Co-op grants, which involve partnerships between multiple family childcare businesses, are eligible for grants up to $10,000.

No, it is not required. New businesses may apply for a startup grant or co-op grant. You will need to submit proof of your application for a family childcare license from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. You do not need to be in operation already.

If you are an existing family childcare business, you may apply for a flexible grant or co-op grant. You will need to submit a copy of your license from the Department of Early Education and Care.

Startup grants and flexible grants are available to childcare entrepreneurs who operate a childcare business from their home (family childcare).

Co-op grants are available to childcare entrepreneurs who are exploring shared services and cooperative models. These could include:

  • shared purchasing
  • centralizing administrative functions
  • building strong networks of peer support and knowledge
  • sharing physical spaces
  • providing employees an ownership stake in the business, and
  • several other possibilities. 

This grant will support teams made up of three or more businesses interested in incorporating cooperative practices.

Funds can be used to cover costs related to the childcare business. They may include items like:

  • toys or art supplies
  • investing in advertising for the business, 
  • procuring services, such as accounting or tax support, and
  • much more.

These are only some examples. Please reach out to us if you want to discuss your particular needs further before submitting your application.

Start-up Small Grants and Flexible Grants:
  1. Preference for minority- and women-owned businesses.
  2. Preference for businesses in Boston Housing Authority units.
  3. Must present a plan for use of funds as part of application.
  4. Commitment to serving two or more Boston Housing Authority or families using childcare vouchers.
Co-op Grants:
  1. Preference for minority- and women-owned businesses.
  2. Preference for businesses in Boston Housing Authority units.
  3. Must present a plan for use of funds as part of the application.
  4. Must present a plan for incorporating cooperative practices into business model.
  5. Commitment to serving three or more Boston Housing Authority or families using childcare vouchers.

No. You have to select the type of grant that best fits your business. Start-up grants are for new family childcare businesses. Flexible grants are for existing family childcare businesses. Apply for a co-op grant if you are a group of family childcare entrepreneurs who want to work together.

No. The Pilot has limited funding for the first round. We will evaluate your application based on selection criteria and notify you if you have been selected to receive funding. We encourage all applicants to apply again in the future if not awarded funding this year.

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