2022 Lead and Healthy Housing Mini-Grant: Innovative Strategies to Support Home-Based Child Care Providers

Lead poisoning is largely preventable: We know how to find lead hazards and how to fix them. One of the biggest barriers individual property owners face in identifying and removing lead hazards is figuring out how to pay for it. Even in communities that have programs to support the identification and removal of lead hazards (e.g., HUD lead hazard control grants, local home repair programs), it can sometimes be difficult for some types of property owners to be aware of and access that support. For example, although a third of all infants and toddlers attend home-based child care facilities as their primary type of care, these providers can experience unique barriers to accessing services to help them identify and correct lead hazards in their homes. This can include but is not limited to concerns about liability, loss of income if extensive repairs require a temporary closure of their business, inability for rental properties to qualify for some programs, and difficulty navigating the application process. In other communities, there may be long wait times due to contractor shortages or a challenge of programs in identifying property owners that are eligible for the services. Yet finding and fixing lead hazards in a home-based child care has the potential to benefit a classroom full of kids!

To help a community pursue and/or implement its idea of how best to create a financing solution for home-based child care providers and others to address lead and other environmental hazards in child care homes, the National Center for Healthy Housing invites communities to apply for a $30,000 grant with the option for additional coaching support. While projects may benefit a larger population, they must explicitly include and address the needs of home-based child care providers. Projects must also address lead but may also address other environmental hazards. The additional optional coaching support includes access to a network of national experts to assist conceptualizing and/or executing their strategy.

There is great potential to create and improve solutions to deliver financing to home-based child care providers to address lead and other hazards where children learn, play, and reside. With competing needs and priorities, child care providers experience unique challenges in accessing funding specifically for healthy housing needs. Under this proposed work, NCHH and a network of partners will competitively select and support a community in developing or implementing a financing strategy that provides funding directly to providers to address lead or lead and other environmental hazards including but not limited to mold, pests, radon, environmental tobacco smoke, asbestos, and carbon monoxide.

This grant’s purpose is to support effective, innovative, and equitable solutions to improve access to healthy housing funding to child care providers. The goal for this effort is to advance health equity, defined here as when “everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthier,” and racial justice, defined here as “dismantling systems that perpetuate racist policies” that have resulted in dramatic health disparities for communities of color.

Eligibility Requirements

Who is eligible?

  • Local or regional nonprofit and community-based organizations (includes public health institutes).
  • County, local, state, and tribal government agencies.

Organizations must be based in the United States. For-profit organizations are not eligible to apply even if they work at the local level. National organizations are eligible to apply but should be prepared to demonstrate direct impact at the local level.

Applicants will be asked to self-identify their proposal as being in the development or implementation phase, but this will not impact scoring or final selection.

Development phase: Communities should identify their proposal as being in the development phase if their financing strategy still needs assistance in identifying or prioritizing promising strategies, and/or the community is in the early stages of the proposed work (e.g., planning, design, testing).

Implementation phase: Communities should identify their proposal as being in the implementation phase if their financing strategy has defined priorities and objectives and/or has some infrastructure in place on which to build to achieve the proposed work.

How many communities will be selected?
One community will be selected for this award. This competitive solicitation is being led by the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) with additional support from the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) and the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC).

What is the project period, and what are some of the key dates?

May 18, 2022 Applications due no later than 11:59 p.m. ET.
Mid-June 2022 Applicants will be notified of their status.
Mid-June 2022 Grantee awarded first installment.
August 15, 2022 Grantee provides brief status update and receives final award installment.
December 15, 2022 Grantee provides a six-month brief status update. See FAQ below for more details and sample format.
June 15, 2023 Grantee provides a one-year status update. See FAQ below for more details and sample format.

funding grant opportunity grant opportunities

What are the benefits of being selected?
The community that is selected will receive support to pursue or implement their child care financing strategy. These benefits include but may not be limited to the following:

What is the coaching and support, and are there related grantee expectations to note?
Coaching and support is not required and will be provided to the grantee on an optional basis. This optional support will be provided to the grantee remotely and virtually over the duration of the project period (June 2022 through June 2023) to the grantee on demand in the form of feedback, mentoring, and advice from applicable national experts. The grantee will also have the opportunity to share their success and challenges and have their concept featured among national networks. The grantee is expected to participate in three informal status updates throughout the project period.

The optional coaching calls and support will be customized to the community’s needs, interests, and capacity. For example, national experts can help the community assess opportunities to develop or implement their financing strategy. NCHH’s coaching and support includes helping to develop needed and effective cross-sector partnerships and helping community-led efforts to promote healthy housing through services to residents, policy changes, and impact evaluation. CEHN is a national multidisciplinary organization whose mission is to protect the developing child from environmental health hazards, promote a healthier environment, and whose work is uniquely informed by a strong basis in pediatric and environmental health science. NAFCC is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting high-quality child care by strengthening the profession of family child care for nearly one million paid home-based early learning programs.

Can a community submit more than one application?
A community may submit more than one application; however, only one application will be selected. Each application will be reviewed and evaluated independently.

What types of activities can be supported?
Funding should be used to develop or implement a financing strategy that supplies funding to child care providers to address lead and other environmental hazards. Funding should be used to build capacity within a community and help communities achieve policy, practice, or systems change.

Development proposals may not achieve implementation within the scope of this award but should still articulate a plan and commitment to laying the groundwork for future implementation of the financing strategy. NCHH will assess the feasibility of the community’s proposal.

Priority will be given to applicants who articulate plans to advance policy and systems change. We acknowledge that full execution of your proposal and financing strategy may take additional time, collaboration, and resources and that proposed policies, programs, and services may not fully be in place.

Communities may apply to use funding for an initiative that is already underway if they can demonstrate how the additional funding will substantially enhance the impact or reach of the work.

Funding may NOT be used to support attempts to influence legislation through direct or grassroots lobbying. For example, funds cannot be used for signage that endorses pending legislation or an elected official.

Funding should also not be used only to support the direct costs of remediation. Also, funding is not intended to support standalone awareness or outreach and education activities. However, outreach/education and remediation activities that are linked to longer term financing of home repairs, policy, practice, or systems change may be included as part of a proposal.

What outcomes will the successful applicant be expected to demonstrate?
The grantee will be expected to articulate a viable, equitable child care financing strategy to address lead and/or other environmental hazards. This may include the implementation or measurable progress towards implementing that strategy, even if the end goal is not expected to be reached during the project period. Examples of outcomes might include:

  • New or additional funding or financing mechanisms in place with a particular focus on under-resourced populations or communities.
  • New or improved policies, services, or programs in place or in progress with a particular focus on under-resourced communities.
  • Increase in equitable access to services or programs, services, or financing. As noted above, development proposals may not achieve implementation within the scope of this award but should still articulate a plan and commitment to laying the groundwork for future implementation of the financing strategy. NCHH will assess the feasibility of the community’s proposal.

As noted above, development proposals may not achieve implementation within the scope of this award but should still articulate a plan and commitment to laying the groundwork for future implementation of the financing strategy. NCHH will assess the feasibility of the community’s proposal.

How will communities be selected?
This is a competitive grant award. Applicants will be evaluated based on need, clarity of plan, readiness, potential impact, community partnerships, and potential for sustained change. Applications must demonstrate the following:

  • Demonstrated need as evidenced by available data, including lived experience.
  • Clear outcomes for the work and a thoughtful plan for achieving them.
  • Potential for policy and systems change.
  • A demonstrated commitment to advancing health equity and racial justice. A strong, effective plan for meaningfully involving multisector stakeholders, including community members and community-based organizations, private sector interests, policymakers, and other relevant agencies and groups.

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee comprised of staff from the National Center for Healthy Housing, Children’s Environmental Health Network, the National Association for Family Child Care, and funding partners using the criteria above.

What information do I need to apply?
NCHH accepts grant applications ONLY through online submission; it does NOT accept the application in PDF format. Applicants can preview all of the application questions here.

NCHH recommends preparation of the application responses in advance, as the online application must be completed and submitted entirely in one session. We recommend using the PDF copy of the full application (available here) to work offline with your team to predetermine answer selections and/or draft responses for questions as appropriate. Developing full-text responses in a Word document for the open response sections of the application will allow you to draft, edit, and save your responses as needed, as well as check character counts, before copying/pasting your final responses into the application on the SurveyMonkey platform. NCHH also recommends printing a copy of the completed application before submitting it.

When are applications due?
Applications may be submitted on a rolling basis but are due no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.

When will the grants be announced?
We anticipate that the successful applicant will be notified mid-June.

Where can I get more information?
Contact Anna Plankey (aplankey@nchh.org) or visit https://nchh.org/build-the-movement/grants-and-scholarships/2022-lead-and-healthy-housing-mini-grant_innovative-strategies/ for more information. Answers to other submitted questions will also be posted below. All questions must be received by Monday, May 9, 2022.

Join the funding announcement listserv to be notified of new developments (e.g., newly posted FAQs) for this grant opportunity.

Frequently Asked Questions 

When will the grant award be announced?
The award announcement is scheduled for mid-June 2022.

Can I just send you my application as a PDF?
No, the grant submission is online only. We cannot accept your application in PDF format. You can fill out the application here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WQGZW9B. There’s a button at the bottom of that SurveyMonkey page to begin your application.

I’m having trouble filling in the survey boxes. What should I do?
For issues with SurveyMonkey, review the help page for taking surveys. Most issues seem to be related to a network or firewall that may be blocking some SurveyMonkey domains. You can add SurveyMonkey domains and subdomains to your whitelist so that they aren’t blocked.

Question 19 asks us to describe how we would use the $30,000. We have reviewed the types of activities the funding can support. In our response, are you asking us to summarize the cost of the proposed activities and not to submit a detailed line-item budget?
Yes. Please summarize the cost of the activity(ies) and how you will use the grant. Please touch on budget categories such as labor, indirect costs, and other direct costs for materials, space rental, trainings/trainers, software, or other items as appropriate to your proposed activities. The budget does not need to be itemized but should be detailed enough to demonstrate that the costs are reasonable and justified.

Can any of the grant funds be used toward staff salaries for an event or activity?
Yes, funding can be allocated for staff salaries to support eligible grant activities.

How will the applications be reviewed and scored? Will the reviewers read and score the entire application, or will the reviewers only score certain questions and not look at other questions? Furthermore, should we refer to information in an answer to another question or repeat information when needed for each question?
Applications will be reviewed and scored in their entirety. This means that each individual reviewer will read and score the full submission of every application that they evaluate. Further, each application will be reviewed by multiple individuals. Feel free to refer to another question in one of your answers if you wish to avoid redundancy.

How is the grantee expected to demonstrate progress or success in the status updates? 
The grantee is expected to participate in three informal grantee status updates with NCHH, CEHN, and NAFCC. The grantee can demonstrate progress or success in a format/method of their choosing including but not limited to participating in a national webinar presentation or video testimonial, or submitting a one-pager, brief memo, brief report, or brief blog post. The grantee is not limited to one format for all three brief status updates and is welcome to submit updates in any combination of the format that they prefer. The purpose of the brief status updates is to hear from the grantee as they move through the process of developing or implementing their financing strategy and to allow the grantee flexibility to informally and creatively promote their progress.

Question 21 allows us to upload supplemental materials. What type of materials are you looking for?
The opportunity to upload supplemental materials is purely optional. We are not looking for anything specifically, and you are welcome to submit a file to support your community’s application. You are limited to PDF, DOC, DOCX, PNG, JPG, JPEG, and GIF files with a file size limit of 16 MB. Reviewers will read up to five additional pages of supplemental materials. If your supplemental materials include links to video or audio recordings, the selection committee will review up to five total minutes of audio or video. For recordings exceeding five minutes, note the start and end times of the section of video/audio you would like us to review.

The RFP does not outline what the population parameters are. Can you clarify?
Entities and organizations from all population sizes are encouraged to apply. State-level agencies can use award funding for a pilot program or for a specified community or smaller portion of their population. Question 6 provides applicants with the opportunity to capture their potential impact as related to the population size they serve. The intention of this opportunity is focused on groups who show involvement in policy and systems change and are grounded in the communities they serve. 

Our organization is not eligible for this specific opportunity, but we are very interested in this type of support. Are you aware of any other opportunities that we should know about?
At this time, NCHH does not have any other open grant opportunities related specifically to child care facilities; however, many of our partners periodically offer grant and/or technical assistance awards that could be of interest to you. We would strongly suggest that you visit the websites of some of our key partners, such as the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and the National Association of County Health Officials to learn more about possible initiatives. We also suggest that you visit https://nchh.org/build-the-movement/listservs/ to join two listservs (Leadnet and Healthyhomesnet) sponsored by NCHH that frequently have postings related to potential funding and support opportunities offered by both NCHH and many of our partners.

Must we have 501(c)(3) status to apply for a mini-grant?
No. Government, education, public housing, nonprofit, and tribal organizations may apply as long as they are based in the United States. If it’s not possible to have a fiscal agent with 501(c)(3) status (e.g., an organization with 501[c][3] status that can pass the funds through to the organization without 501[c][3] status), other organizations that aren’t for-profit are also welcome to apply but will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. We will not grant funds to individuals or for-profit organizations.

Is the $30,000 grant structured as an award or will disbursement involve a cost reimbursement process?
The $30,000 grant will be structured as an award and will not involve a cost reimbursement process. We are finalizing the schedule for funding disbursement to the selected grantee and will update the opportunity discription accordingly. At least $20,000 of the total funds will be available upon award acceptance and contract execution in mid-June; the remaining $10,000 will be available by August 15.

While a detailed line-item budget is not necessary per Question 19, we are asked to present a general description/estimate of how the $30,000 grant funding will be used. Will it be possible to submit budget amendments or modification requests for approval during the project period as the work progresses?
Yes. Although we expect that applicants will submit a budget that reflects, as accurately as possible, the support needed to advance the activities presented in their application, we also recognize that situations may arise where a reasonable modification to the proposed budget may be necessary at some time during the project period. Necessary budget modifications may be used for allowable activities. Discussions of such modifications with the awarded grantee will be held if modifications change a budget category by 10% or more.

The grantee may use funds as needed if funds are used for allowed activities. The grantee must affirm funded and allowable activities at each award payment. See the pay schedule above.

[REVISED] Could these grant funds be used to cover the cost of testing for lead and other environmental hazards?
While not a specifically prohibited activity, as outlined in the application, priority will be given to applicants who articulate plans to advance policy and system change; justification should be included on how proposed activities meet those ends. For example, if the cost of testing is a barrier and there is a plan to institute an ongoing program to cover or offset these costs, applicants should clearly articulate how the funds will be used to establish an ongoing program (versus using the funding for a time-limited project to cover testing costs in X number of homes).

[NEW] If I submitted my application early, but would like to submit a revised/updated version, is that possible?
Yes, as long as the application is submitted before the deadline of May 18, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. EST. If a community submits more than one application for a specific project while this opportunity is open, the one submitted closest to the deadline will be reviewed. Please indicate a resubmittal by adding “(resubmit)” to the agency/organization name in Question #1. You can fill out the application here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WQGZW9B

[NEW] Can these funds be used to support an outreach/education initiative?
While outreach/education is not a specifically prohibited activity, as outlined in the application, priority will be given to applicants who articulate plans to advance policy and systems change. Funding is not intended to support standalone awareness or outreach and education activities; justification should be included on how proposed activities are linked to longer term financing of home repairs, policy, practice, or systems change.

[NEW] Does a proposed financing strategy have to support child care providers exclusively or can it also supply funding to those addressing lead and other environmental hazards in settings where children learn, play, and reside?
Funding should be used to build capacity within a community and help communities achieve policy, practice, or systems change. Projects must explicitly include and address the needs of home-based child care providers, but are not confined to this group exclusively and may benefit a larger population. For example, if an existing home repair program wanted to use this funding to explore a policy change to expand their eligibility criteria to be able to provide financing for rental units, they could make the case for why this change would not only benefit the wider community but would also remove barriers for home-based child care providers in their community. Applications must also address the home environment (e.g., should not be exclusively focused on center-based child care).

[NEW] Does the grantee have to spend the money by a deadline or within a specified time frame?
The grant recipient is not required to spend the grant funding by a designated deadline or within a designated time period as long as funding is spent on the intended activities/impact. The grantee is required to demonstrate this during their informal status updates.

 

Latest page update: May 6, 2022.