2023 Healthy Housing Mini-Grants: Innovative Strategies to Support Home-Based Child Care Providers
Eligibility Requirements and Frequently Asked Questions


One of the biggest barriers individual property owners face in identifying and removing environmental hazards is figuring out how to pay for it. Even in communities that have programs to support the identification and removal of these hazards (e.g., HUD lead hazard control grants, local home repair programs), it can sometimes be difficult for some 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 businesses as their primary type of care, these providers can experience unique barriers to accessing services to help them identify and correct environmental 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 environmental hazards in a home-based child care has the potential to benefit a classroom full of kids.

The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) invites communities to apply for a bundled award that will help these communities pursue and/or implement their project ideas for creating a financing solution for home-based child care providers and others to address environmental hazards in child care homes. Each of three available awards includes coaching and support over 12 to 16 months, including access to a network of national experts to assist grantees in conceptualizing and/or executing their strategy, the opportunity to learn from peer communities and share their own successes and challenges, and a $20,000 grant. While projects may benefit a larger population, they must explicitly include and address the needs of home-based child care providers.

There is great potential to create and improve solutions to deliver financing to home-based child care providers to address environmental 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 three communities in developing or implementing a financing strategy that provides funding directly to providers to address lead and/or other environmental hazards including but not limited to mold, pesticides, pests, radon, environmental tobacco smoke, asbestos, harmful chemicals found in household items (e.g., cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting products), 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 of 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 (including public health institutes).
  • County, local, state, and tribal government agencies.

Organizations must be based in the United States. Individual child care providers and 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: A community should identify its 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: A community should identify its 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?
We anticipate that a minimum of three communities will be selected. This competitive solicitation is being led by NCHH with additional support from the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN).

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

March 31, 2023 Applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. ET.
Early May 2023 Applicants will be notified of their status, with three grantees being notified of their award.
May 2023 Grantees are assigned to core coaching team and complete intake coaching calls.
May – June 2023 Kickoff webinar for grantees.
May 2023 – August 2024 Regular coaching calls with core team and other coaching activities as needed. Grantees must meet with their coaching teams at least once every two months.
May 2023 – August 2024 One or two group technical assistance gatherings for grantees.
August 31, 2024 Final reports are due to NCHH.

funding grant opportunity grant opportunities

What are the benefits of being selected?
The three awarded communities will receive support to pursue or implement their childcare financing strategy. These benefits include but may not be limited to the following:

  • Coaching and support: 12-16 months of coaching and support from the National Center for Healthy Housing and other national experts who will be invited based on the needs of the selected communities from Children’s Environmental Health Network and the National Association for Family Child Care.
  • Peer learning: Opportunities to interact and learn from other communities tackling similar issues with shared goals to improve home-based child care environments.
  • Grant award: A $20,000 grant award to support project activities (spending rules detailed below).

What is the coaching and support, and are there related grantee expectations to note?
Coaching and support will be provided to grantees virtually (e.g., via calls and Zoom or Teams meetings) over the duration of the project period (a 12- or 16-month period) to enable grantee access to on demand feedback, mentoring, and advice from applicable national experts. Grantees will also have the opportunity to share their success and challenges and have their concept featured among national networks. Grantee expectations and learning opportunities may include but are not limited to participation in the following activities:

  • A project kickoff webinar;
  • Regular coaching calls with applicable national partners;
  • Submission of initial, mid- and final project reporting documentation; and
  • Participation in other activities as needed (e.g., additional topic-specific, capacity-building webinars or coaching calls with peer mentors).

The coaching calls and support will be customized to community needs, interests, and capacity. For example, national experts will help communities assess opportunities to develop or implement their financing strategy. NCHH’s coaching and support includes helping 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 home-based child care providers to address environmental hazards in their facilities. Funding should be used to build capacity within a community and help the community achieve policy, practice, or systems change.

Priority will be given to applicants who articulate plans to advance policy and systems change. Applicants may submit proposals to explore, initiate, or fully implement a financing strategy. At a minimum, proposals must articulate a plan and commitment to lay the groundwork for future implementation of a financing strategy; however, NCHH is not requiring projects to achieve full implementation within the 12- to 16-month award period. We acknowledge that full execution of your project and financing strategy may take additional time, collaboration, and resources and that proposed policies, programs, and services may not fully be in place by the end of the project period. NCHH will assess the feasibility of each community’s proposal.

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 may not be used solely to support the direct costs of mitigating or removing environmental hazards in home-based child care facilities. Also, funding is not intended to support standalone inspection, testing, or awareness or outreach and education activities. However, inspection, testing, outreach/education and mitigation activities that are linked to a longer-term financing strategy for home repairs, policy, practice, or systems change may be included as part of a proposal. 

Lastly, funding will not be awarded to individual home-based child care providers themselves to address environmental hazards in their facilities. If you are a home-based child care provider seeking resources, please contact Anna Plankey (aplankey@nchh.org). 

What outcomes will the successful applicant be expected to demonstrate?

Successful applicants will articulate a viable, equitable financing strategy to address environmental hazards in home-based child care facilities, including actual implementation or measurable progress towards implementation of 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, proposals are not required to achieve full 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.

Click the image above to preview the survey questions (PDF format).

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

NCHH recommends preparation of the application responses in advance of online entry, as the online application must be completed and submitted entirely in one session. We recommend saving the PDF copy of the full application (available here) so you can 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 Friday, March 31, 2023.

When will the grants be announced?
We anticipate that the successful applicants will be notified in early May.

Where can I get more information?
Contact Anna Plankey (aplankey@nchh.org) or visit https://nchh.org/build-the-movement/grants-and-scholarships/2023-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, March 13, 2023.

LINK NEEDED: 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 early May 2023.

Can I just send you my application as a PDF?
No, 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/XFYWWV5. 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 block some SurveyMonkey domains. You can add SurveyMonkey domains and subdomains to your whitelist so that they aren’t blocked.

Question 18 asks to describe how we would use the $20,000. 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. Reference budget categories such as labor, indirect costs, and other direct costs for materials, 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 and meet the spending rules delineated in the “What types of activities can be supported?” section above.

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 are the grantees expected to demonstrate progress or success in the status updates? 
Grantees are expected to demonstrate progress or success through three reports. Grantees will receive a reporting template and work with their coaching teams to complete reports at the beginning, middle, and end of the project period. This template is designed to help grantees demonstrate progress over the course of the award period and show how funding was used to build capacity within their community with a strong emphasis on policy/systems change. Communities that are earlier on in the process are not required to achieve full implementation or may not achieve full systems change during the project period but should still demonstrate a plan and commitment to laying the groundwork for future implementation of the financing strategy.

The funding announcement states that the project period will be over 12 to 16 months. Can you explain this timeline?
Grantees will be given the option to choose between a 12- or 16-month project period based on their preferences. Once awarded, grantees can discuss with their coaching teams the best and most strategic project period timeline based on their individual projects.

The funding announcement states that grantees must attend regular coaching calls with their core team at least once every two months, can grantees access their coaching teams on a more frequent basis?
Yes. Grantees will have on-demand access to their coaching teams throughout the project period and will have the option to establish regular coaching calls every month if preferable.

Can we submit letters of support from other partners? 
We do not encourage applicants to include letters of support; however, you may indicate that they’re available upon request in your application if you would like the review committee to know that they exist. 

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 only 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 longer than this, please 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 7 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 to home-based 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 check out the websites of some of our key partners, such as the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, 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 through the funds 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 $20,000 grant structured as an award or will disbursement involve a cost reimbursement process?
The $20,000 grant will be structured as an award and will not involve a cost reimbursement process. As currently proposed, the awards will be granted in three installments: an initial $10,000 upon contract execution; $7,500 after six or eight months of technical assistance (for 12- or 16-month projects, respectively) and receipt of the mid-term report (November 1, 2023, for 12-month projects or January 1, 2024, for 16-month projects) and $2,500 upon receipt of final reporting requirements.

While a detailed line-item budget is not necessary per Question 18, we are asked to present a general description/estimate of how the $20,000 grant funding will be used. Will it be possible to submit no-cost 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 no-cost modification to the proposed budget may be necessary at some time during the project period.

The grantees may use funds as needed if funds are used for allowed activities and must affirm funded and allowable activities at each award payment. See the pay schedule above. If there are significant changes to the budget or planned expenses, grantees must discuss these plans with their coaching teams prior to the midterm or final award payment.

Does the financing strategy we’re proposing have to address lead?
While we welcome proposals that address lead, the proposed financing strategy does not have to explicitly address lead and can address any environmental hazard. The previous 2022 Lead and Healthy Housing Innovative Strategies funding opportunity focused on addressing lead hazards; however, this opportunity allows applicants to focus on addressing lead or any other environmental hazard(s). We leave the discretion to the applicant to address the priority of their community.

Does the financing strategy we’re proposing have to address lead in paint, or can it address other sources of lead exposure (e.g., drinking water, soil, consumer products)?
The proposed financing strategy can address any or all sources of lead exposure. It can also address any other environmental housing hazard(s) other than or in addition to lead. We leave the discretion to the applicant to address the priority of their community.  

Can this grant funding be used to cover the cost of inspections or tests (e.g., testing water for 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.

What kinds of projects have been funded previously?
You can read more about the 2022 Lead and Healthy Housing Innovative Strategies Grantees and their projects here. These projects differ slightly in that they were required to address lead. This year’s funding opportunity does not have this lead requirement and is open to projects addressing any environmental hazard(s) in home-based child care settings.


Latest page update: November 8, 2023.