Strengthening Hawaii's Communities

Child Care Stimulus Grant Program

The Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF), together with the Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services (DHS), have announced up to $15 million of Hawaiʻi’s federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to support the reopening and continuous operation of regulated child care programs across the state.

The goal of the new program is to provide licensed child care programs with one-time, flexible funding to ensure the continuity of their operations, prevent permanent closure and/or enable them to re-open their programs safely and with financial resources. Equally important, the program seeks to ensure that child care facilities are able to meet the additional health and safety measures set by DHS for reducing risk of exposure to COVID-19 among children, families and staff.

Grant Awards:

Grant decisions will be emailed by November 13, 2020 COB. If you do not receive an email by November 14th, please contact

If awarded, a signed copy of the Grant Terms and Conditions Agreement (GTA) is required in order to process your grant payment. If a copy of your W9 is needed, you will receive notification through DocuSign via email. Pending receipt of all required documents, grant checks will be mailed the week of November 16th. 

Please complete your final report survey that was emailed to you no later than November 20, 2020. Complete your final financial report and email it to in an Excel or PDF file. Reach out to your Hawaii Community Foundation contact at to discuss any unspent funds you may have before completing the final report survey.

 Have questions about the final report? Email or join Zoom office hours.

- Thursday, November 19th, 5:15-6:15pm

- Friday, November 20th, 11:30-12:30pm

Application & Eligibility Information:

Applications Open: October 6, 2020 / Applications Close: October 30, 2020, 4:00pm HST

The application is now closed. Applicants will hear about grant award decisions by email by November 13, 2020 COB.

Childcare providers may apply for one of two options: (1) Child Care Stabilization, for continuing operations of a program, or (2) Child Care Reboot and Reopen, for programs that have been closed.

Only providers with multiple sites/services with separate license numbers may apply for both the Stabilization and the Reboot and Reopen options if some of their facilities are open and others are closed.

Any licensed and regulated child care provider or A+ provider in Hawaiʻi is eligible to apply. Private educational institutions or private schools that provide K-12 services, post-secondary education, or prekindergarten services are not eligible to apply.

Grant Options Child Care Stabilization Child Care Reboot and Reopen
Grant Purpose
  • For child care providers, including A+ providers to help relieve some of the immediate financial burdens caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The intent is to provide emergency relief to providers that are open and providing care to protect against permanent closure
  • The Child Care Reboot and Reopen award encourages providers to re-open if they are safely able to do so.
  • Priority will go to programs in areas that have child care shortages, especially rural areas, and those serving special populations
  • Licensed providers must be currently open and operating for at least 30 days prior to applying
  • Cannot be affiliated with a private educational institution
  • Licensed providers must agree to reopen within 15 days of grant award, or November 1, 2020 which ever date is sooner
  • Cannot be affiliated with a private educational institution
Allocation of One-time Awards Maximums
(per licensed site/service)
Family and group child care homes $6,000
Group child care centers $26,000
Infant and toddler centers $26,000
Before or after school care programs, and A+ program operators $9,000
Family and group child care homes $4,500
Group child care centers $24,000
Infant and toddler centers $24,000
Before or after school care programs, and A+ program operators $7,500
If additional funds are available once applicants have received initial funding, HCF will make supplemental grant awards not to exceed your total award maximum from the first round. For example, a licensed family child care provider could apply for $6,000 in supplemental monies, bringing the total award to a maximum of $12,000.
Time Period for Funded Projects October 1 through November 30, 2020, with supplemental awards having an extended project time periods of March 15 through September 30, 2020. For supplemental award recipients the total time period is March 15 through November 30, 2020.

Application Process:

  1. Read the FAQs to understand eligibility, deadlines, and reporting requirements
  2. Gather documents that you’ll need to apply, most notably a Hawaiʻi Compliance Express Certificate (see FAQs for more details)
  3. Ready to register and apply? Fill out this Registration Form so that we can get you set up with an application account.
  4. After you fill out the Registration Form, we’ll send you an email with log in information for your application. 
  5. Apply from Oct 6 - 30.




  1. Who is eligible to apply?
    Any licensed or regulated child care provider, including family child care homes, group child care homes, group child care centers, infant and toddler centers, or before/afterschool programs, or A+ providers in Hawaiʻi are eligible. Applicants must be either a private for-profit or non-profit organization or an individual operating a child care facility. A+ programs that are HIDOE contractors are eligible if they meet the organization requirement. Private educational institutions or private schools that provide K-12 services, post-secondary education, or prekindergarten services that holds itself out to the public as a school or educational institution, or that identify as an educational service rather than a child care service, are not eligible to apply for the Grant Program. Hawaiʻi Association of Independent Schools (HAIS) maintains a list of Hawai'i Council of Private Schools (HCPS) licensed schools (if an organization is on this list, it is ineligible).
  2. What criteria for eligibility do applicants need to meet?
    • Applicant must be located in Hawaiʻi.
    • Applicant must be a child care facility licensed by or registered child care program (including before/after school programs) with the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services (DHS), or a legally exempt A+ provider (HIDOE contractor) that is in good standing with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
    • Applicant’s program is open (for at least 30 days) or will be open by November 1, 2020 and currently serving families and agrees to stay open for a minimum of six months after receipt of the grant award. If program should be required to close at the direction of the state health department or other authorized officials, applicant will need to notify the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation in order to determine the handling of the grant award. Applicant agrees to reopen once the local health department or other authorized officials determines it is safe to do so.
    • Applicant will serve, continue to serve, or agree to serve upon request, children on receiving child care subsidy assistance from DHS.
    • Applicant will update Hawaiʻi Community Foundation (via periodic online survey) of operating status, available space for children, impact of the grant and other necessary information.
    • Applicant will use the DHS Guidelines for Child Care Facilities to Reopen or Continue Care (updated June 9, 2020) called “Guidelines for Child Care Facilities updated June 9, 2020.” Additionally, the applicant will utilize health and safety practices that prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Hawaiʻi Department of Health guidelines as much as possible.
    • Applicant fulfills insurance requirement in accordance with section 346-157, HRS and provides verification of Hawaiʻi Compliance Express (HCE) Good Standing with no past due of all state and federal tax obligations.
    • Applicant allows full access to its records, reports, files, and other related documents for compliance review purpose relating to this grant. When required, applicant shall complete an independent financial and compliance audit in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards of the Office of Management and Budget.
    • For-profit and sole proprietor businesses (usually home-based providers), a W-9 form will need to be submitted within five days of completing the application to consider the grant application.
  3. I am currently closed. Can I still apply for this opportunity?
    We know some providers will work toward re-opening over the next few months following the guidance of Hawaiʻi State Department of Health and specific guidance from the Department of Human Services Guidelines for Child Care Facilities. Please send us an email to when you re-open so we can include it with your application record. If you are closed, you may apply for this opportunity if you plan to reopen within 30 days or by November 1, 2020 (which ever date is sooner).
  4. If I received a Home Based Child Care Provider Emergency Grant, am I still eligible for this funding?
    Yes, though, unlike the privately funded Home Based Child Care Provider Emergency Grant, there are additional requirements regarding the use of these funds and documentation that must be submitted.
  5. If I have received funding from one of the Hawai’i Department of Human Services Child Care Emergency Contracts, U.S. Small Business Administration, ex: Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance, or other private funding, am I eligible for this funding?
    Yes, however we ask that you do not duplicate expenses. Please do not charge the same expense to multiple funds.
  6. Are there special requirements because the funds come from federal CARES Act?
    The Hawai‘i Community Foundation administers the Fund under a contract with the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services. The original source of funds is a federal grant to the State of Hawaiʻi from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020, Federal Grant ID# CFDA #21.019. Certain costs are not allowed under this Grants Fund including 1) administrative costs and indirect costs, 2) expenses incurred for the purposes of entertainment, perquisites, campaign contributions, or lobbying activities. Costs that are determined to be inappropriate or unallowable must be repaid to HCF. CARES Act funding may subject the grantee to an audit by HCF, State, the federal government, or their designees. Proper recordkeeping is important.

Allowable Uses of the Grant Funds

  1. What expenses are eligible for funding?
    Current eligible expenses including making up for any lost income or additional expenses incurred through COVID-19 disruptions. Allowable expenses include staff salaries, staff training, personal protective gear, cleaning supplies, materials needed to care for children, business-related lease/rent, mortgage and utility payments.

    Eligible Expenses include:
    • Cleaning services, and cleaning and disinfecting supplies (soap, bleach, hand soap/sanitizer)
    • Personal protective equipment (masks, gloves—often referred to as PPE—or thermometer) to maintain safe environments
    • Lease/rent/mortgage payments (must cover the business-related portion)
    • Utilities/insurance payments (business-related utility or insurance payments only)
    • Payroll expenses for employees to maintain or resume child care operations (i.e. operational costs including employee salaries). Expenses are not limited to those whose services are dedicated to interim cleaning, or health and safety protocols. The hours charged to the payroll expense are documented and available audit purpose by HCF.
    • Staff training
    • Reopening costs needed to safely operate the child care facility, including making minor improvements to the provider’s environment, and purchase equipment (e.g. hand washing station, air filtration and purifying) or supplies to better respond to health guidelines.
    • Purchasing supplies for caring for children, diapers, wipes, infant formula
    Grants amount will not pay for administrative costs and indirect costs or for the purposes of entertainment, perquisites, campaign contributions, or lobbying activities. If costs are determined to be inappropriate or unallowable, applicant will have to repay HCF the grant and/or subject to appropriate action under state law.

    Personal protective equipment (PPE) will also be available for distribution to child care providers through the Department of Defense per Act 9 SB 126 CD.1 Part XIII. Purchase and Distribution of Personal Protective Equipment. It is still allowable to include the expense in the budget request.
  2. What is the amount of funding each program can receive? And how is the maximum funding request determined?
    HCF will consider the proposed budget as well as the needs of each provider. Providers may request up to the cumulative total for all eligible sites/services in one application. If there is more than one site/service, please use the Maximum Grant Award Calculator Worksheet to determine the maximum funds the applicant can request. The maximum amount is based on site/service type, number of sites, and if those sites are open or closed.
  3. What type of business expenses can I include in the Project Budget Template if I use my home for providing daycare?
    Your project budget request can only include those expenses that are allowed by the Grant Fund as Eligible Expenditures (refer to question 1 in this section). As for rent, mortgage, utilities and insurance expenses, if you use space in your home on a regular basis for providing daycare, you can only claim the business-related portion in your budget request. Please include a description of your business-portion calculation in the budget justification column. The calculation of your business-related portion should be the same calculation you use when filing IRS Schedule C for your profit and loss from business. Two reference documents can help you:
    1. 2019 Instructions for Schedule C (2019), IRS Use the information from Schedule C from your 2019 tax filing. Main relevant form: Daycare Facility Worksheet (for simplified method).
    2. Business Use of Your Home (Including Use by Daycare Providers). This document is the guidance and a framework for determining the business portion of your expenses in the home View relevant pages 13-15.
  4. Do I need to provide a worksheet that shows how I calculate the business-related portion for my home-based child care expenses?
    Yes, please upload your worksheet with your online application that shows the calculations between business-related and home portions per the IRS Business Use of Your Home framework. Please refer to relevant pages 13-15 of the Business Use of Your Home ( for specific instructions. Please retain this worksheet for auditing purposes.
  5. If I am a multi-site provider, can I include eligible business expenses at the enterprise level?
    Yes, we recognize that there are cost-savings when purchasing goods or services at the enterprise scale. As much as possible, please break-down your budget request by island and site/service type. If there are expenses that meet the requirements that are at the enterprise level of your organization or business, please include those eligible expenses under the site type and island location that are your headquarters.

Application Process

  1. What is the deadline for applications?
    All applications must be received through Nonprofit Gateway by Friday, October 30, 2020 by 4pm HST. Once you have registered, you can access your account for the 2020 Child Care Stimulus Program Application.
  2. How can I apply if I do not have a computer of internet?
    If you work with PATCH or Learning to Grow, staff members at either organization may be able to help provide assistance in completing the online application form. Alternatively, please call 808-792-3105 for assistance.
  3. Who should I reach out to with questions about the application or online system?
    Please reach out to with any questions about the fund or applications process. We will do our best to respond to you within 24 hours. Alternatively, you can join Zoom office hours about the opportunity every Monday night from 7 - 8pm from October 12 to November 2. Please request to join the office hours by emailing
  4. How long will it take to know whether my application was accepted?
    Applicants will receive an email confirmation once your application has been submitted (by clicking the Submit button). 
  5. What certificate do I need to get ahead of time to include in my application?
    The only certificate applicants need to get ahead of submitting the application is the Hawaiʻi Compliance Express (HCE) Certificate of Vendor Compliance. This single certificate eliminates the need to obtain individual copies of clearances with the following agencies: (1) Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - Form 8821, (2) Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) - Form LIR27, (3) Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) - Form COGS, and (4) Department of Taxation (DOTAX) - Form A-6. It satisfies the requirement to demonstrate good standing with the Department of Consumer Affairs business registration division and clear of all state and federal tax obligations.
  6. How do I get/print my certificate of vendor compliance from Hawaiʻi Compliance Express (HCE)?
    • Log in to your HCE account.
    • Select the business name of the certificate you wish to print.
    • Select “view/print certificate” on the right-hand side of the screen.
  7. Do any applications receive priority points?
    Priority Points will be given to programs that meet the following criteria, but is NOT a requirement for receiving funding. Priority Points for review will be given to programs that meet any of the following criteria:
    • Full day/Full year program: providing care for approximately 36+ hours per week for 12 months, or provides non-traditional hours
    • Providing care in an area with child care shortages, especially rural areas. Or provide care in a DOE Complex Area with a B-5 population designated high-risk3 (Hawaiʻi Island: Kaʻu, Kealakehe, Laupahoehoe, and Pahoa; Molokaʻi; and Oʻahu: Waiʻanae and Nanakuli)
    • Applicant currently (or pre-COVID-19 in February 2020) served families receiving DHS Child Care Connection Hawaiʻi subsidy
    • Currently accredited and meeting national standards (such as Hawaiʻi Association for the Education of Young Children (HAEYC) or other accreditation)
  8. What can I do if my application is denied?
    Applicants not receiving funding will be provided with an email indicating the reason they were not funded. Reasons may include:
    • Applicant does not complete the application or withdraws it from consideration
    • Not a current licensed or registered child care facility or home or BAS or A+ program
    • Closed due to COVID-19 or closed for any other reason with no reopen date and plan indicated. (Closed being defined as not currently open, operating and serving families.)
    • Ineligible expenses that are not modified to allowable, appropriate expenses
    • All funds from the Child Care Stimulus Grants Program are expended (insufficient funds to make awards)
    The denial and grievance process will follow the Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules 17-802 Section 9 “Review of the Decision.” Please contact HCF staff requesting a review of the decision; the review will start within 48 hours of the request. In the request for review, applicant must include why the applicant disagrees with the denial. The request for review must be submitted to HCF within 15 days of when the denial letter was sent to applicant.

    Additionally, a denial of an application by HCF can be submitted to DHS for review via written request stating:
    • the applicants request for review and reason(s) applicant disagrees with the denial
    • the request for review must be submitted within 15 days of when the denial letter was sent to applicant
    We are very committed to a fair review process for applicants.
  9. Can I pause and return to my application so that I don’t need to complete it in one sitting?
    Yes, applicants can pause and come back to the saved application whenever they want in the HCF online portal. It gives applicants the time to gather necessary attachments and complete the questions. The application is not officially complete and sent to HCF until the applicant hits the SUBMIT button. HCF encourages complete applications to be submitted as early as possible.

Grant Award and Reporting

  1. If accepted, how long will it take to receive funding?
    All applicants will be notified by November 13, 2020. Once you receive an award letter by email and return the signed Grant Award Letter and Terms and Conditions Agreement (and any outstanding items pending your award), HCF will mail a check to the address on your application within 7 business days.
  2. Will I need to report this grant on my taxes?
    Yes. For-profit providers must report this grant as taxable ordinary income on your tax return in the year in which it was received. This is true for individuals (or sole proprietors) also. Hawaiʻi Community Foundation will issue an IRS Form 1099-MISC. Nonprofit providers must also report this as income, though this will not be a taxable event.
  3. Do I need to repay the money I received?
    No, the check you received provides funds that are considered a grant award and do not need to be repaid unless the funds were not used for an eligible purpose. A grant award is different than a loan and does not need to be repaid.
  4. What are unexpended funds?
    If you do not spend all or a portion of the money you were given, the remaining funds are called “unexpended funds.” It is your responsibility to return any of those funds back to the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation by November 30, 2020. The grant period is quite short due to the federal CARES Act timeline and the end date will be listed in the award letter.
  5. What are the reporting requirements?
    At the end of the grant period, we will ask you to fill out a detailed survey with questions similar to the application questions, such as when you re-opened (if closed), how many kids you are serving, and what the funds were used for. Please keep track of how the funds were spent for reporting (for example, $1,000 on October rent, $200 on cleaning supplies, etc.). There is no need to submit receipts, but please keep them along with your grant award letter with your files. This survey will count as the final report. HCF highly encourages keeping hard copy and digital file folder of all Grant documents and documentation for eligible expenses for seven years after the November 30, 2020 grant period end date.