University of Delaware College of Education and Human Development
Department of Human Development & Family Studies
Delaware Department of Education
Delaware Office of Early Learning
Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood

Capacity Grant

For the most current application visit and look for the Capacity Grant link under “Child Care Resources.”

 Capacity Grant Description

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services has awarded a contract to Children & Families First to provide quality improvement technical assistance strategies and grant resources to the early childhood and school age child care community to increase the supply of child care in areas where it is limited. The Capacity Grant technical assistance and grant awards are intended to provide resources that will enhance the quality of care in programs, and build the supply of child care that are in limited supply in one or all of the following areas:

  • Children with special needs (defined as children with IEPs and/or IFSPs)
  • Children who need care during non-traditional hours (defined as care needed a minimum of one hour prior to 7:00 a.m., until a minimum of one hour after 6:00 p.m., and/or care needed on weekends)
  • Children who are English language learners
  • Infants and toddlers (defined as birth up to 30 months)

The project will seek to expand, enhance, or create new care that is safe, healthy, and appropriate, with an emphasis on serving low-income children.  Grant awards will include, but are not limited to: purchasing educational materials, professional development/staff training, classroom furnishings, or services that will improve efficiency in operations. Funding is not intended to be used to pay for construction or renovations.

The technical assistance may be provided upon request, and may be provided to programs once a week for up to three months.  The length of each visit and the number of visits will vary based on the need(s) being addressed. Technical assistance may be offered in such areas as:  Start-up and operating; fee schedules and cash management; staffing, personnel policies, staff evaluations, etc.; business and classroom management.

Eligibility Requirements

The Capacity Grant is available to those serving infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school age children.  Licensed early care and education child care centers, family child care, large family child care and school age programs, in all three counties of the state of Delaware, are eligible to participate.

Child Care Programs:

  • Must have an annual license issued by the Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL)
  • Must accept Purchase of Care (POC) through a contract with the Division of Social Services or be willing to complete an application through Purchase of Care
  • Must be in good standing with OCCL (Programs on Warning of Probation or on Probation will not be accepted)
  • Must also be in good standing CACFP, POC and other Capacity Grant partners
  • Must provide evidence of efforts to accommodate children with IEPs and/or IFSPs

In addition to the eligibility requirements noted above, priority will be given to programs enrolled and actively engaged in Delaware Stars.  Programs not enrolled in Delaware Stars must agree to complete an enrollment form for Delaware Stars prior to receiving grant resources.



Thank you for visiting the Delaware Stars for Early Success website. Delaware Stars is a program funded and administered by Delaware Department of Education, managed by the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood (DIEEC) in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.