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Refugee Family Child Care Microenterprise Development (RFCCMED) Program

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, and IHEs
to Help Refugees Establish Childcare Businesses

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Administration for Children and Families (ACF) - Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)

Deadline Date:

05/15/18 4:30 PM ET Hard Copy Receipt; or 11:59 PM ET Electronic Receipt


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Grants to USA and territories nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and IHEs to help refugees achieve financial self-sufficiency through the establishment of small, family childcare businesses. Applicants are advised to create or verify the required registrations well in advance of the deadline date.

Program Background:

Since 2012, ORR has funded the RFCCMED program to support refugees in achieving self- sufficiency by establishing and operating licensed family child care (FCC) businesses. Refugee families often depend on income from both parents for financial support. Families with young children face the choice of sacrificing potential income from one parent to provide child care at home, or securing outside child care, which is often expensive and difficult to arrange. This burden is most often faced by refugee women, who consequently have difficulty accessing the job market and remain unemployed.

Establishment of small FCC businesses is a solution that has enabled many refugees to earn a reliable income while continuing to care for their own children. Refugees often have substantial formal or informal experience in child care prior to resettlement. Furthermore, there is often a significant demand for child care in refugee communities, presenting refugee FCC providers with a customer base from their own network. The resulting increase in available child care services likewise enables additional refugees with young children to seek employment.

While FCC is a promising opportunity for refugees, newly arrived refugees face challenges in establishing successful businesses. The child care licensing system is complex and difficult to navigate without assistance. Refugees may not be accustomed to U.S. child care regulations, norms, and practices. Likewise, refugees may not be familiar with the requirements of operating a small business, particularly in the U.S. context.

Through the RFCCMED program, ORR will support local organizations to provide recently arrived refugees with the necessary training and technical assistance (TA) to establish FCC businesses. They will equip refugee participants with knowledge, skills, and limited financial support in preparation for opening their business. Program implementers will also provide personalized guidance to participants as they undergo the child care licensing process and in the early stages of business operation.

ORR has established a joint informational memorandum (IM) with the ACF Office of Child Care (OCC), which administers the Child Care Development Fund through block grants to states, territories, and tribes. The IM encourages coordination and alignment of early childhood and refugee programs between ORR and OCC. ORR expects programs funded under RFCCMED to meet and provide training and TA services to refugee entrepreneurs that accords with child care standards as specified in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014. Further information on OCC and CCDBG can be found through the links provided in Section VIII, Other Information.

Goal and Objectives:

The goal of the RFCCMED program is to generate a source of income and economic self- sufficiency for economically vulnerable refugees by funding organizations that will, along with a network of partners, train eligible participants to establish licensed, high-quality FCC businesses.

Specifically, the main objectives of the RFCCMED program are to:
1) Help refugees attain economic self-sufficiency by establishing licensed FCC businesses;
2) Help refugee families gain access to licensed FCC businesses able to meet the early care and developmental needs of refugee children; and
3) Assist refugees in learning how to navigate mainstream child care services.

Through the RFCCMED program, ORR will achieve these objectives by funding local organizations to provide personalized, culturally and linguistically appropriate training and TA to participants interested in establishing FCC businesses.

Implementing organizations must work in close cooperation with the state, territory, tribal, or local agency responsible for child care regulation to ensure that participants have completed all necessary steps to legally operate their business at a capacity that will enable the participant to achieve financial self-sufficiency.

FCC Business Definition:

For the purposes of this FOA, an FCC business is defined as a small business owned and operated by the refugee participant that provides in-home child care services in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Depending on local regulations and the type of services provided, participants may or may not require specific licensing or certification to operate an FCC business. RFCCMED program funds may not be used for the sole purpose of preparing a participant for employment in a child care facility the participant does not own, though participants' temporary employment, internship, or volunteering in such a facility for the purpose of obtaining child care experience is allowable.

RFCCMED Required Program Activities:

The RFCCMED program will meet its objectives through the following required activities:

FCC Training:

Specialized FCC training must be provided to enrolled participants. Due to the diverse nature of the refugee population, training must be culturally and linguistically appropriate. Training must be provided directly or through an established partnership with local agencies that already have existing expertise in FCC training. Training must fully prepare participants to establish successful, high-quality FCC businesses that comply with state and local child care laws designed to protect health and safety as referenced in section 5(b) the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-186). Health and safety training areas must include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. the prevention and control of infectious diseases;
2. prevention of sudden infant death syndrome and use of safe sleeping practices;
3. the administration of medication, consistent with standards for parental consent;
4. the prevention of and response to emergencies due to food and allergic reactions;
5. building and physical premises safety, including identification of and protection from hazards that can cause bodily injury such as electrical hazards, bodies of water, and vehicular traffic;
6. prevention of shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma;
7. emergency preparedness and response planning for emergencies resulting from a natural disaster, or a man-caused event;
8. the handling and storage of hazardous materials and the appropriate disposal of biological contaminants;
9. for providers that offer transportation, appropriate precautions in transporting children;
10. first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and
11. requirements relating to nutrition, access to physical activity, or any other subject area determined by local regulation to be necessary to promote child development or to protect children’s health and safety.

Microenterprise Development Training:

Specialized microenterprise development (MED) training must be provided to enrolled participants. Due to the diverse nature of the refugee population, training must be culturally and linguistically appropriate. These trainings must be provided directly or through an established partnership with local agencies that must have existing expertise in the area of MED.

MED training must include all aspects of small business knowledge and skills required to operate a profitable and successful business and comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Examples of MED training topics include business planning, financial literacy, customer service, record keeping, time management, inventory management, cash flow projections, financial and cash management, personnel management, taxation, and general small business management.

Technical Assistance:

Under the RFCCMED program, TA is broadly defined as one-on-one consulting, counseling, mentoring, or facilitation related to FCC business development. The RFCCMED program must provide TA to all participants on a regular and/or as-needed basis to enable them to establish and improve their businesses during their participation in the program. TA must be provided by the RFCCMED program directly, or through partner(s). TA plans must be designed to fully prepare the participant to establish a successful FCC business. Examples of TA include assisting with the development of a business plan, assistance in applying for a child care license, providing expert advice on business start-up and development, accounting, and interpretation and translation services for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) participants. While individual TA must be available to participants, assistance may be provided to participants in small groups when appropriate.

Participant Stipends:

RFCCMED programs must provide a stipend not to exceed $3,000 per enrolled refugee participant for the full project period to assist with business startup costs. Costs must be directly related to preparing the participant’s home for FCC business operation. Participants must not receive stipend funds until the program implementer has verified that the participant is fully prepared to begin the process of establishing their business or obtaining a required child care license or certification. Eligible costs include, but are not limited to: educational materials, furniture, toys, business equipment, office supplies, home improvements or repairs for the purpose of meeting child care or business regulations, safety equipment, and cleaning supplies. As referenced in Section IV.6, Funding Restrictions, all program-related expenditures must be paid directly to the vendor. Participants may be reimbursed only if the purchase was approved in writing by the implementing organization prior to the sale. Costs associated with participant training and TA and payment of required fees related to licensing are not considered to be stipend expenditures and do not count towards the $3,000 per participant limit. See Section IV.6, Funding Restrictions for further information regarding allowable use of stipend funds.

Collaboration with Local Child Care Licensing Agency:

RFCCMED programs must establish connections with the local agency responsible for FCC licensing in the service area to ensure that the program has accurate and current information regarding FCC requirements and regulations. Programs must be aware of appropriate procedures to address licensing-related issues that may arise during implementation.

Licensing-Related Fees:

RFCCMED funds may be used to cover participants’ costs for meeting FCC licensing requirements. These may include:

-Licensing application fee
-Required orientation
-Background check/fingerprinting
-Required immunizations and health screenings
-Required CPR/First Aid training
-Costs associated with transportation to training- and licensing-related activities
-Other fees required for licensing by local regulation

Program funds may also be used during the project period to cover costs of FCC business insurance for up to one year total. Program implementers may request prior approval from ACF to cover any expenses deemed essential to licensing and business operation.

All program-related expenditures must be paid directly to the vendor. Participants may be reimbursed only if the purchase was approved in writing by the implementing organization prior to the sale.

Applicants may propose to cover all or some of these costs as deemed appropriate. Program funds may be used to pay for services required for family members and others living in the home, such as background checks, if required by regulation. If different rates for required services are available, program implementers must choose the least expensive option accessible to the participant that will fulfill associated requirements.


FCC and MED partnership(s) are required if the applicant is not able to deliver all required FCC and MED trainings through its own internal capacity.

Examples of partnerships for FCC training include tribal, territory, state, and local early childhood agencies, local child care resource and referral agencies, after-school programs, voluntary resettlement agencies, and other community-based organizations that can provide FCC trainings that will be compliant with federal, state, and local child care laws.

Examples of partnerships for MED training include business development institutions such as Small Business Administration (SBA) micro-loan offices, Community Development Financial Institutes, and other public and private public institution funded by agencies like Office of Community Services’ Community Economic Development program and SBA Program for Investing in Microentrepreneurs.

Examples of partnerships for cultural and language competency include ethnic community based organizations (ECBOs), resettlement agencies, established vocational English training programs, interpretation services, and other public and private organizations that have an established relationship, trust, and expertise of the target refugee population.

Examples of partnerships for TA include territory, tribal, state or local agencies, voluntary agencies, ECBOs, or other public or private organizations with the capacity to maintain detailed case files and individualized assistance as the enrolled clients become established FCC businesses.

ORR encourages RFCCMED programs to consider community partnerships that can expand the range of services that can be offered to program participants. RFCCMED programs may also include relationships with State Refugee Coordinators and ORR Regional Representatives to develop strategies, share information, and sponsor cross-training opportunities focused on the culture and language of refugee populations in the state and community with early childhood education and child care providers.

Eligible Participants Defined:

For the purpose of this FOA the term refugee refers to individuals with the following statuses who are eligible for ORR Refugee Resettlement Program benefits (see 45 CFR § 400.43(a) (1)-(6) or statutory provisions cited below):

1. Individuals paroled as refugees or asylees under § 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA);

2. Refugees admitted under § 207 of the INA;

3. Asylees whose status was granted under § 208 of the INA;

4. Cuban and Haitian entrants, in accordance with the requirements in 45 CFR § 401.2;
a. Any individual granted parole status as a Cuban/Haitian Entrant (Status Pending) or granted any other special status subsequently established under the immigration laws for nationals of Cuba or Haiti, regardless of the status of the individual at the time assistance or services are provided;
b. A national of Cuba or Haiti who was paroled into the U.S. and has not acquired any other status under the INA and with respect to whom a final, non-appealable, and legally enforceable order of removal, deportation, or exclusion has not been entered;
c. A national of Cuba or Haiti who is the subject of removal, deportation, or exclusion proceedings under the INA and with respect to whom a final, non-appealable, and legally enforceable order of removal, deportation, or exclusion has not been entered;
d. A national of Cuba or Haiti who has an application for asylum pending with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review and with respect to whom a final, non- appealable, and legally enforceable order of removal, deportation or exclusion has not been entered;

5. Lawful permanent residents provided the individuals previously held one of the statuses identified above. (Note that this does not refer to Amerasians who are admitted as lawful permanent residents. See #6 below.);
6. Certain Amerasians from Vietnam who are admitted to the U.S. as immigrants pursuant to § 584 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1988 (as contained in § 101(e) of Public Law (Pub. L.) 100-202), as amended (8U.S.C. § 1101 note);

7. Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrants per section 1244(g) of Div. A of Pub. L. 110-181, as amended (8 U.S.C. § 1157 note) and section 602(b) (8) of Div. F of Pub. L. 118-8, as amended (8 U.S.C. § 1101 note);

8. Victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons per the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, Pub. L. No. 106-386, as amended, 22 U.S.C. § 7105(b) (1)(A) and (c).

Additional requirements for enrollment into the RFCCMED program are defined as eligible individuals:
-Who are not yet citizens and who have been in the U.S. for not more than 5 years at the time of enrollment;
-Who live in a home that is suitable for an FCC business and that will be able to meet the requirements for an FCC business as defined by federal, state, and local laws or have definitive plans to move to such a home during the project period;
-Who, if not homeowners, have a signed agreement from the rental property owner allowing the operation of an FCC business in the residency if required by local regulation; and
-Who do not have legal barriers that will bar them from meeting the minimum requirements for owning and operating a licensed FCC business as determined by federal, state, and local laws (e.g., can pass a criminal background check, can obtain health and safety certifications, has a valid driver’s license, etc.).

RFCCMED programs may not enroll participants who will not be able to meet the regulatory requirements to establish an FCC business during the project period.

Prior approval may be requested for exceptions to the 5-year requirement if the refugee is not a U.S. citizen and good cause can be shown as to why an individual who has been in the U.S. for a longer period of time must be considered a priority for services under the program. Prior approval for exceptions to requirements for suitability of the participant's home and/or signed agreements from property owners may be requested if the participant is not able to operate a business from their home but has a plan to operate a business in an alternative location that meets all applicable regulations and provides ample potential revenue to achieve self- sufficiency.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 154967

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Expected Number of Awards: 8

Estimated Size of Grant:

-Award Ceiling: $187,500 Per Budget Period
-Award Floor: $150,000 Per Budget Period
-Average Projected Award Amount: $187,500 Per Budget Period

Term of Contract:

The anticipated project start date is September 30, 2018.

Grants will support a 36-month project period with three 12-month budget periods.


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • Independent school districts
  • Indian housing authorities
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Public housing authorities
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Special district governments
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants for refugee programs under 412(c)(1)(A) are “public and private nonprofit agencies.” This includes: state governments; county governments; city or township governments; special district governments; independent school districts; public and state controlled institutions of higher education; Native American tribal governments (federally recognized); public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities; Native American tribal organizations (other than federally recognized tribal governments); Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education; nonprofits without 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education private institutions of higher education; and private institutions of higher education.

Applications from individuals (including sole proprietorships) and foreign entities are not eligible and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Faith-based and community organizations that meet the eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards under this funding opportunity announcement.

Pre-Application Information:

All applicants must have a DUNS Number and an active registration with the System for Award Management.

Obtaining a DUNS Number may take 1 to 2 days.

All applicants are required to maintain an active SAM registration until the application process is complete. If a grant is awarded, registration at SAM must be active throughout the life of the award.
Plan ahead. Allow at least 10 business days after you submit your registration for it to become active in SAM and at least an additional 24 hours before that registration information is available in other government systems, i.e.

The deadline for electronic application submission is 11:59 PM, ET, on May 15, 2018.

The deadline for receipt of paper applications is 4:30 PM, ET on May 15, 2018. Paper applications received after 4:30 PM, ET, on the due date will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. Paper applications received from applicants that have not received approval of an exemption from required electronic submission will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

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Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Ryan Foster
P: (202) 260-6949
F: (202) 401-5772

Administration for Children and Families
Office of Refugee Resettlement
Division of Refugee Services
Mary E. Switzer Building
330 C Street, SW.
Washington, DC 20201

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)