For providers: Micro-Grant Program staff is currently processing grants received 8/14/17-8/28/17.*
(*Please note that this date range will be updated weekly on Fridays).
Micro-grants is currently experiencing a very high volume of cases, resulting in longer wait times for programs. We are working to catch up as quickly as we can. Thank you for your continued patience!
Micro-Grant Information for YoungStar Technical Consultants (TCs)
If you are a YoungStar TC looking for updates on micro-grant expiration dates for programs, internal Micro-Grant program news, and more, please click here to visit the Micro-Grant TC Updates page (password protected). If you are a YoungStar TC and you have misplaced or forgotten the password to access this page please contact email@example.com.
We are pleased to announce the addition of Constructive Playthings as a designated vendor for micro-grants! Constructive Playthings offers our programs 15% off regular-priced items and free shipping over $99 (excludes drop ship items).
Read one provider’s experience with the Micro-Grant Department:
Have you utilized a micro-grant? We would love to hear about what you are using it for in your program! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to share your experience.
YoungStar Micro-Grant Program Overview
Supporting Families Together Association (SFTA) currently administers the YoungStar Micro-Grant Program through our amazing micro-grant staff:
Sarah Ross Berry
|Providers may contact Sarah with questions/concerns about micro-grant materials returns or reimbursements.
Purchasing Specialist, Portal Approver
|Providers in the southeastern, northern and Milwaukee regions, or providers in any region whose preferred language is Spanish, may contact Gloria with questions/concerns regarding general information, orders, timelines or changes to a Purchase Plan.
Office Manager & Financial Specialist Support
|Providers in any region whose preferred language is Hmong, may contact Chanel with questions/concerns regarding micro-grant reimbursements.
|Providers in the southern, northeastern and western regions may contact Amanda with questions/concerns regarding general information, orders, timelines or changes to a Purchase Plan.
|Providers may contact Sherri with questions about policies and administration of the YoungStar Micro-Grant Program.
If you are a child care provider, please click on the map image below for a full printable PDF of regional Micro-Grant Program contacts and their roles so that you can speak to your regional contact and have your questions answered as efficiently as possible:
This program grants funding to support the Quality Improvement Plans (QIPs) developed by child care providers in collaboration with their Technical Consultants. Specifically, micro-grants are used by child care programs to implement their QIP as part of the YoungStar technical assistance process. Programs that have actively participated in technical assistance are eligible for a micro-grant. Accredited programs have several options for technical assistance and should contact their Local YoungStar Office. The amount of a micro-grant is determined by the type of program participating:
- $1000 for a Licensed Group Child Care Program or School-Age Program
- $500 for a Licensed Family Child Care Program
- $250 for a Certified Family Child Care Program
- $200 for a Licensed Day Camp
How Do I Qualify and Apply for a Micro-Grant?
Every program that actively participates in technical consultation and creates a Quality Improvement Plan based on a self-assessment can apply to receive a YoungStar micro-grant. Providers can access micro-grant application forms by contacting their Technical Consultant. Completed micro-grant documents should be submitted to a child care program’s local YoungStar Office
or to their Technical Consultant, who will then submit the documents to the Micro-Grant Program through the YoungStar Case Management System (CMS). Micro-grant requests are processed in the order received. The micro-grant staff will notify the program when documents have been received and proceed with processing the grant request. A program may receive one micro-grant per service year, as funding allows, if the program continues to meet all YoungStar and micro-grant guidelines and expectations as outlined by the policies of the Department of Children and Families and the Micro-Grant Program at SFTA. Any questions may be submitted to the Micro-Grant Program directly, using the appropriate contact person in the map provided above, or through a program’s Technical Consultant.
How Can My Child Care Program Use Our Micro-Grant?
If you are looking for guidance on how to best use your micro-grant for your program, a good place to start would be to take a look at the recently updated Micro-Grant Handbook
(also available in hard copy at your local YoungStar office upon request) and at the YoungStar Incentives FAQ for Providers
. The Micro-Grant Tip Sheets below also contain suggestions and ideas for the best use of your micro-grant funds. Programs can use micro-grant funding for things such as accreditation cost reimbursement, training and education for professional development, staff or substitute time to support quality improvement work, services such as contractors/builders or additional technical consultation hours, the purchase of equipment and/or materials that strengthen the learning environment and curriculum in key areas identified in a program’s QIP, and more. YoungStar programs that actively participate in technical assistance can use micro-grants to support Registry fees if professional development is a focus of the QIP. Speak with your Technical Consultant or someone from the Micro-Grant Program if you are unsure whether you can use your micro-grant towards a particular item or activity, or review the micro-grant purchasing matrix
The Micro-Grant Program staff have worked to sustain and expand available vendors for providers to order micro-grant materials from at a discounted price. The following vendors offer providers a discount on what they order through SFTA’s Micro-Grant Purchasing Specialists:
The Vendor Discount Structure sheet, contains further details regarding the above vendors and the discounts they offer, as well as exceptions for requesting items that are not from one of these vendors.
How are Child Care Providers Spending Their Micro-Grants?
Take a peek at how child care providers are using their micro-grant dollars to improve their programs. On average, 88% of all micro-grant funds are spent on child materials – a 2% increase from last quarter. Here is a break-down of what those spending patterns looked like in Q2 of 2017: