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Child Care Capacity Building Opportunity

“This project is made possible by funding the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services received through Nebraska Legislative Bill 1014: appropriation of funds allocated to the State of Nebraska from the federal Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund pursuant to the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, 42 U.S.C. 802.”

Child Care Capacity Building Opportunity Informational Webinar

Question & Answer Sessions

The Communities for Kids team held two Q&A sessions on November 7, 2022 at 12:30 pm CST/11:30 MST and 7:00 pm CST/6:00 MST.  The recordings are below.  The questions from these Q&A sessions are all below in the FAQ section. 

November 7, 2022 - 12:30p Central / 11:30a Mountain


November 7, 2022 - 7:00p Central / 6:00p Mountain -

RFP Required Information and Forms

Click to download RFP and read for required information: ARPA Child Care Capacity Building Opportunity Request for Proposal

Click to download Summary Form (fillable form):  ARPA Proposal Summary Form

Click to download Funds Request Form (fillable form):  ARPA Funds Request Form


What needs to be submitted so I can be considered for this funding? 

  • The ARPA Proposal Summary Page (fillable form)
  • A Proposal detailing the project(s).  See ARPA Child Care Capacity Building Opportunity Request for Proposal link above for detailed information of what needs to be included in the proposal (not a fillable form, will need to create document, up to 4 pages)
  • The ARPA Funds Request Form (fillable form)
  • Other requested items listed on page 6 of the ARPA Child Care Capacity Building Opportunity document (not a fillable form, items requested are listed in the document)

Please submit in PDF format, in one PDF document, if possible.  

Proposals will be disqualified if they do not include all necessary documents and information requested.

Who can apply?  Community organizations, entities and/or licensed providers looking to expand capacity.  Those submitting applications must demonstrate a willingness and ability to quickly work to increase quality child care license capacity.  A high level of organization and accountability will be required.  Programs receiving funding must be committed to: 

  • If not already, become a licensed child care program and operational and actively serving children ages 0-5 in a full day/full week/full year capacity
  • If already licensed, increase current DHHS child care license capacity
  • Accept child care subsidy
  • Enroll in Step Up to Quality and develop a plan to reach Step 3 or higher
  • Register and keep information up to date on the Child Care Referral Network

Eligible license types include:

  • New, to-be-licensed FCCHI, FCCHII, or CCC
  • Currently licensed Family Child Care Home I expanding to a Family Child Care Home II
  • Currently licensed Family Child Care Home II expanding to a Child Care Center
  • Currently licensed Family Child Care Home I expanding to a Child Care Center
  • Currently licensed Child Care Center increasing current license capacity

Eligible programs must NOT already be licensed OR must not have increased their licensed capacity by January 1, 2023.  If the program is not currently licensed but will be before 1/1/23 or will have increased licensed capacity before 1/1/23, then unfortunately the program would not be eligible.

Can I back my license off from a Family Home II to a Family Home I, apply for these funds, and then move my license back up to a Family Home II?  Unfortunately no.  We are working with DHHS licensing and have record of who is currently licensed as a Family Home I, II and Center and those that do this will be disqualified from the RFP process.    

If I receive this funding, do I have to count it as income?  It is possible that you will have to report this as income.  However, please consult with your accountant for specifics pertaining to your own personal situation for a final answer. 

How many applications (RFP's) will be funded?  12-15 applications/Request for Proposals will be funded.  Notification of funding will be given in December with contracts starting in January.  

What is required to be submitted?  The applicant's actual proposal (up to 4 pages), proposal summary form, and the funds request form (all can be downloaded from above.  Forms can be filled in and the proposal will need to be completed in a separate document.    

What format do the required documents need to be submitted in?  Proposal, summary form and funds request form are required to be submitted in PDF format, in one PDF document, if possible.  Proposals should be typed with regular style 12-point font, double spaced, not to exceed four (4) pages, not including cover page; proposal summary form; funds request form; or appendices.

When is the deadline for submission?  On or before Monday, November 28, 2022 at 5:00pm Central / 4:00pm Mountain.  

Where do I submit the document?

What is the funding timeline?  Contracts will begin in January, 2023 and end June 30, 2023

Who do I contact if I have questions?  Questions can be directed to or a technical assistant with the Communities for Kids team. 

Is this a separate opportunity than what will be coming from DHHS in January?  Yes, this is a separate opportunity. DHHS plans to launch their opportunities in early 2023 and while that funding is also aimed at capacity building, it will not be able to fund ground-up construction or major renovation. 

Can public preschools apply?  Those applying need to be or become licensed and offer full day/full week/full year child care focusing on ages 0-5. 

Can the funds be used to purchase land or a building or be used for a down payment on a building?  Unfortunately, no, funds cannot be used to purchase land or a building or be used as a down payment for land or a building.  Funds can go towards construction on already purchased/gifted land or construction/renovation of an already purchased/gifted building.

What is the scale on how points will be allocated for the request for proposal?  The points are allocated per section required and are listed in the Request for Proposal document above.  

Can providers also apply for the DHHS child care expansion grant along with these funds?  Yes, absolutely.  DHHS will work with us closely to make sure there is not duplication of any expenses.  

Can we use this funding for a lease?  Possibly, with the right justification, a long-term lease agreement and justification of how it will help to build capacity quickly and a robust sustainability plan.

If we have a multi-purpose building in development, could we apply if part of the building is for child care? Yes, requested funds will only be able to go toward the child care portion of the building.

If I am working on multiple expansion projects, should I submit multiple applications?  If they are all in the same region, we recommend one application with specific information included about the timeline and budget for each individual project.

Do we need to be registered on the CCRN, enrolled in Step Up to Quality, and have an active subsidy contract before applying?  No.  The goal is to have these items done as soon as possible, but you cannot do any of these things until you are issued a license, so we will not expect everyone to have them done already.

Can we apply for renovation if renting a space?  Yes, your landlord will need to sign a letter of agreement.  We are working on developing a template for this and it will be provided to you if you are selected for a contract.

If we are already licensed for a certain amount of spots but not currently serving the maximum amount of children, can we apply for funds that would allow us to serve the kids we are licensed for?  No, these funds can only be used to increase the number of licensed spots.

Can a community apply for many providers at the same time that individual providers from that community applies separately?  Yes, though as we finalize selections, we will make sure that providers are only funded once.

How strict is the 4 page maximum?   Please keep to the maximum of 4 pages, but if you’d like to include attachments about each provider or project with further information regarding timeline and budget, you may include one additional page per provider or project.

Do contractor bids need to be attached to the proposal?  This is not required, but feel free to attach them if you already have them.

Are the funding tiers based on the total amount of increased licensed spots by community, or by program?  By program.

Are these funds subject to the Davis-Bacon Act?   No. Prevailing wages are highly encouraged, but not required.

Could these funds pay for a fire inspection to see what is needed to expand?  Possibly, depending on how quickly the expansion efforts could take place.

What applications will be prioritized?  Child care deserts or areas of high need will be prioritized.  Programs that can by open and serving children by June of 2023 will be prioritized.  Programs must be full-day, full-week, full-year, and serving a majority of children ages 0-5. 

What if I am worried about how long it takes to be licensed, or that licensing will reject me?  Please work with your local licensing specialist about what it would take to get the kind of license you are wanting before applying if you have any concerns or questions about your ability to become licensed.  

Can I open a second location and qualify?  Yes, this would be increasing licensed spots, so it would absolutely qualify.

Can we use funds to rent a new facility until the new construction is complete if the construction won’t be done by June 2023?  Yes, this is a possibility.  Please describe details in your proposal.

Are we still eligible to apply if we do not yet have our IRS tax determination letter for a 501c3?  Yes, you’ll just need to provide a copy of your application, form 1023.

Do we have to be a 501c3 to apply?   No, you do not have to be a 501c3.  Please see the RFP overview document for a full list of entities.

Is the application available in Spanish?  Not yet as we were moving fast to get the RFP out in English, but we are happy to accept any Spanish-language responses to the application, and we may have a way to help Spanish-speakers apply.  Please email at to get in touch with us regarding Spanish applications and/or assistance.  We are happy to help.

Can these funds help with a commercial kitchen?  Possibly, if this is needed for a capacity increase.  Individual equipment items over $5,000 would need special permission, so be sure to include all items requested, with estimated prices, in your budget justification.

If we are selected for a contract, are we guaranteed the full amount we ask for?  No, we have a finite amount of funds, so it is possible we will be working with you to modify your budget.

What if I receive funding and don't open or can't open by June 30, 2024?  It is expected that any program receiving funding will be open, operating and serving children no later than 6/30/2024.  If a program receives funds and due to extenuating circumstances is unable to open, clear documentation and communication with Nebraska Children and Families Foundation must occur/must have occurred before reimbursements will be considered or issued.  In the event a program receives funds, does not open by 6/30/2024, and does not have clear documented approved rationale, then all reimbursed funds will need to be returned to Nebraska Children and Families Foundation.   

If we submit a proposal that includes multiple projects and our proposal is chosen, will all projects included be funded and will they be funded at the amount asked for?  A thorough review process has been put into place and will look at each individual project within a group of projects.  There is a chance that not all projects within a multiple project submission, if the proposal is chosen, would be funded.  If chosen, they also may not be funded at the amount asked for.  We have a finite amount of funds, so it is possible that there could be a lesser amount provided.