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


In an ongoing effort to help communities pursue or implement their ideas 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 awarded grants to five communities.

Under this grant initiative, the finalist community selected for the full mini-grant received an award of $30,000 with the option for additional coaching support over 12 months that includes on-call access to technical assistance from a network of national experts. Four additional semi-finalist awardees received $5,000 grants and optional access to the same coaching and support over the 12-month project period.

The awarded projects will help communities 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 by developing or implementing a financing strategy that provides funding directly to providers to address lead or lead and other environmental hazards. Specific projects include development of guidance for home-based child care providers on financial strategies and available funding sources, stakeholder and community engagement to foster collaboration and crowdsource solutions, outreach and education campaigns, lead poisoning prevention policy and program development, and development of a plan to address funding needs identified by the passage of a new lead ordinance.

Each project demonstrates a commitment to advancing 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.

The 2022 award recipients will complete their proposed activities by August 31, 2023.

The 2022 Grantee Finalist

City of Allentown Community Housing Office, Allentown, Pennsylvania
The City of Allentown’s Community Housing Office works to ensure a balanced, diverse, and inclusive economy of quality housing in strong neighborhoods. The Community Housing Office is located within the Community and Economic Development Department and coordinates with the Health Bureau and Building Standards & Safety. Each day, over one hundred home-based child cares (HBCC) serve a total of 600 Allentown children under the age of six. NCHH’s Innovative Strategies to Support Home-Based Child Care Providers mini-grant and technical coaching will empower our community to develop a road map that navigates the unique challenges HBCC providers face in accessing funding for essential lead and healthy homes work. With support from the mini-grant, we will (1) produce a promotional video that educates HBCC providers on the importance of encouraging families to have their children tested for lead poisoning and offer testing through the Allentown Health Bureau, (2) develop a curriculum for financial strategies specific to HBCC and connect to possible funding sources, and (3) facilitate interim childcare space while lead and healthy homes work is being done at the HBCC location. Lead-safe and healthy home-based child cares will help kids by the dozens – it will contribute to leveling the playing field within the social determinants of health for generations to come.

The 2022 Grantee Semifinalists

Child Care Network, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Child Care Network is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the success of children, families, and our community through quality child care education, advocacy, and family support. We serve eight counties in southeastern Michigan and essentially help families find child care, help them pay for child care, and help early learning professionals provide quality care. Our proposed plan under this grant initiative is to coordinate a meeting of a group of community partners and other stakeholders. We will facilitate the work of this group in collaborating to identify a financing solution for home-based child care providers to address lead and other environmental hazards in licensed child care homes. Some of the stakeholders involved in this collaborative work will include licensed home child care providers and representatives from community development financial institutions, private philanthropic foundations, local government units, educational service organizations, nonprofit organizations that work on housing issues, and others.

Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students, Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to create a statewide movement to support high-quality affordable early learning, healthy development, and wellbeing for children from birth to age five and their families. We accomplish our work through public policy development, research, public awareness building and support for innovative programming and collective impact efforts. With partners, including Georgia State Representative Marvin Lim, GEEARS will host town halls with family child care providers, community members, and stakeholders in Gwinnett County, Georgia, to educate about the importance of preventing lead exposure and to provide resources on how to test for and remediate lead in child care programs.

Panhandle Public Health District, Scottsbluff, Nebraska
Panhandle Public Health District (PPHD) serves 12 rural counties in the westernmost portion of Nebraska. This area encompasses just over 87,000 residents spread among a land mass of 15,000 square miles. PPHD’s lead program consists of case management for children with elevated blood lead levels. PPHD identifies lead hazards in the home and provides lead poisoning prevention education. Our goal is to protect children from lead exposure in environments where they eat, play, and live. The long-term plan of the health department’s lead program would be the establishment of policies that determine lead hazards in the home with sustainable resources for remediation to help improve healthier childcare environments.

Women for a Healthy Environment, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Women for a Healthy Environment (WHE) educates individuals about environmental risks to human health, provides action steps communities can take to mitigate those risks, and advocates for solutions to better protect the region. The population served includes parents, students, children, school and early learning personnel, and health and community-based organizations, with an emphasis on those living in underserved communities. Creating healthy spaces for children to live, learn, and play is at the core of WHE’s work.