Current Funding Opportunities

FIRST 5 SONOMA COUNTY

Current Funding Opportunities

Grant Opportunity Announcement and Information Document

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The mission of First 5 Sonoma County is to maximize the healthy development of all Sonoma County children from the prenatal stage through age five through support, education, and advocacy.
The First 5 Sonoma County Commission is administering funding from the American Rescue Plan, in partnership with the City of Santa Rosa, to be used towards the improvement, expansion, and construction of child care facilities within Santa Rosa city limits. First 5 Sonoma County is accepting Letters of Intent from the following:

The Goal of the Early Care and Education Facilities Grant is to increase access to high-quality child care options for working families in high need areas through retention and expansion of child care slots within Santa Rosa city limits.

ELIGIBILITY

Letter of Intent Eligibility Requirements:
FUNDING
GRANT TYPES AND FUNDING LIMITS BY ENTITY AND PROJECT TYPE
Requests for funding must be within the range of the grant awards, as outlined in each grant description below.
1. Minor Renovation and Repair to Preserve an Existing Facility
Award Amounts:
Licensed Family Child Care Homes and License-exempt programs:
Local Education Agencies, 501(c)(3) Nonprofit agencies, Private Child Care Centers or Preschools:
Description:
2. Minor Renovation and Repair Grants to Increase Licensing Capacity
Award Amounts:
Licensed Family Child Care Homes and License-exempt programs:
Local Education Agencies, 501(c)(3) Nonprofit agencies, Private Child Care Centers or Preschools:
Description:
3. Major Renovation and New Construction
Award Amounts:
Licensed Family Child Care Home and License-exempt programs:
Local Education Agencies, 501(c)(3) Nonprofit agencies, Private Child Care Centers or Preschools:
Description:
Major renovation is defined as:
New construction is defined as:
All Major Renovation and New Construction projects must demonstrate a creation of additional child care slots.
FUNDING PRIORITY CRITERIA
The highest level priority of funding will be given to projects of facilities that:
If you would like to view whether your project site is located within a QCT, follow the steps below. Please note that a facility is not required to be located in a QCT to be eligible for this funding opportunity:

Visit the Census Geocoder website

Enter the project address
Additional consideration will be given to projects that:
Activities that qualify for funding:
In addition to the list above, the following activities qualify for Major Renovation and New Construction grant funding:
Activities that will not qualify for funding:
Please note that qualifying and non qualifying activities are not limited to these examples. Grant funds will only be disbursed in accordance with the terms of the grant agreement signed by both the funder and the applicant.
Application and Funding Schedule
Early Care and Education Facilities Grant Letters of Intent will be accepted beginning September 11, 2023. The opportunity to submit a Letter of Intent will close on September 29th, 2023. We will not accept proposals submitted after the deadline.
The First 5 Sonoma County Commission will invite entities that meet all eligibility requirements to complete the Early Care and Education Facilities Grant Application. Applications will require bids from licensed contractors and will be accepted beginning October 23rd, 2023. The period to submit a completed application will close on December 15th, 2023.
Additional guidance regarding obtaining bids and contractor selection will be provided to eligible entities invited to complete the application in October.
Complete applications will be evaluated by staff, including but not limited to the following criteria:
Applications will be reviewed in January 2023. Funding recommendations are anticipated to be presented to the First 5 Sonoma County Commission for approval in February 2023 with disbursement of awards beginning in March 2023. Timelines are subject to change.
LETTER OF INTENT SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS
In order to be considered for funding, your Letter of Intent must include:
SUBMISSION DEADLINES
Letter of Intent
Early Care and Education Facilities Grant Letters of Intent will be accepted beginning September 11, 2023 through our Grant Management System. Interested applicants will need to create an  account to access First 5 Sonoma County’s Online Grant Portal. The opportunity to submit a Letter of Intent will close on September 29th, 2023. 
Application
The First 5 Sonoma County Commission will invite entities that meet all eligibility requirements to complete the Early Care and Education Facilities Grant Application. Applications will require *construction quotes and bids for project materials and labor, and will be accepted beginning October 23rd, 2023. Project quotes should be valid for 3 months minimum and preferably for 6 months. The period to submit a completed application will close on December 15th, 2023.
*Additional guidelines for obtaining quotes and bids from active, licensed, and insured contractors will be provided during the application phase.

Any child care facility that is located outside Santa Rosa city limits should reach out to the Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County, who is offering a similar grant program focused on serving the County of Sonoma at large. Contact Nathan Smith at nsmith@capsonoma.org for more information.

RESOURCES, CONTACTS, AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

If you have any questions or need any assistance during any stage of the LOI or application process, please reach out to us. We are here to help!

Technical Assistance in English and Spanish:

Program Manager, Leslie Corral Cisneros

Email: lcorralcisneros@first5sonomacounty.org 

Phone: 707-522-2026

Program Coordinator, Yanin Torres Solorio

Email: ytorressolorio@first5sonomacounty.org

Phone: 707-522-2028



Mini-Grants
First 5 Sonoma County’s Mini‐Grant Program provides small grants to licensed child care providers and non-exempt Family, Friend, and Neighbor providers.
Who is eligible to apply?
  • Small licensed family child care providers (serving up to 8 children) located in Sonoma County who care for at least one infant or toddler aged 1 months to 24 months
  • Large licensed family child care providers (serving up to 14 children) located in Sonoma County who care for at least one infant or toddler aged 1 months to 24 month
  • License-exempt providers (Family, friend and neighbor (FFN) only)
  • Child care centers and preschools are not eligible
Grant Amounts:
  • Large licensed family child care provider- up to $5000
  • Small licensed family child care provider- up to $2500
  • License-exempt provider (FFN only)- up to $1,500
What can I purchase with this grant money?

Applicants may apply for items in the following categories to improve the early learning environment for infants/toddlers (all items need to be in compliance with licensing requirements):

  • Items to create social emotional spaces (also known as calm down corners): this is a designated space in a home or classroom with the sole intent of being a safe space for a child to go to when they feel their emotions are running too high and they need to regain their emotional and physical control. These spaces are equipped with comforting objects and soothing materials that can promote mindfulness, breathing and reflection.
  • Outdoor Equipment
  • Infant Equipment
  • Health & Safety items
  • Disaster preparedness items
  • Books & educational materials
  • Business and administrative technology items
Submission deadline

Applications will be accepted from January 29– March 1, 2024. All applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on the last day of the application period. 

Informational webinars about Mini-grants
First 5 will be hosting two informational meetings on the following dates:

*Meetings will be recorded and posted, if you can not attend one of the scheduled meetings*

Still need help applying? Or have additional questions you’d like to talk through?
TA hours are available for those who need additional support. Click on the links below to schedule a TA session.

For English TA click here

For Spanish TA click here

For additional questions contact the following First 5 staff:
Kathleen Natvidad:
Yvette Guzman:
en_USEnglish