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Mini-Grant Program

Grants to Sonoma County, California Nonprofits, For-Profits,
Agencies, and Individuals for Early Childhood Education

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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First 5 Sonoma County

Deadline Date:

01/15/19 5:00 PM


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Grants to Sonoma County, California nonprofit organizations, businesses and corporations, public agencies, individuals, and early education providers to promote the healthy development of children. Funding will support the development of children from the prenatal stage through age 5.

Your mini-grant project must help First 5 Sonoma County achieve one or more of its objectives.

Comission Goals and Objectives:

All funds received from the Mini-Grant Program must be used to support the development and nurturing of Sonoma County children from the prenatal stage to age five. You may request funding for projects or programs that target one or more of the following goals and objectives. First 5 Sonoma County believes that making progress in these areas will result in the County's youngest children being better prepared when they enter kindergarten. Research shows that children who succeed in kindergarten are more likely to succeed in school.

Goal 1: Ensure the Health and Healthy Development of Children

Objective 1A: Increase the availability of high quality, accessible health care for children
Objective 1B: Increase early detection of, and intervention for, developmental concerns

Goal 2: Ensure Families are Supported and Nurturing

Objective 2A: Increase support for parents to strengthen their parenting capacity
Objective 2B: Increase support for parents to strengthen their family’s literacy skills

Goal 3: Ensure that Early Care and Education (ECE) is High Quality

Objective 3A: Increase the availability of high quality early care and education
Objective 3B: Increase the capacity of early care and education providers to link their client families to appropriate health, mental health, substance abuse, and developmental services

Goal 4: Increase Integration of Systems and Effect Policy Change to Fill Gaps and Better Serve Children and Families

Health Systems:
Objective 4A: Collaborate to identify successful strategies to reduce iron deficiency anemia
Objective 4B: Collaborate to increase the community’s capacity to address children’s oral health needs

Family Support Systems:
Objective 4C: Collaborate to identify, improve, and sustain high quality intervention and support for families with substance abuse, mental health, and domestic violence issues in order to reduce child abuse and neglect
Objective 4D: Collaborate to increase family economic self-sufficiency and reduce the impacts of poverty on children 0-5

Early Care and Education Systems
Objective 4E: Collaborate with the early care and education and K-3 systems to: Increase parents’ engagement as partners in education and increase families’ connection to related resources; Increase alignment and articulation between early care and education and K-3; Identify and increase institutionalization of successful school readiness strategies and programs
Objective 4F: Collaborate to increase alignment of systems of academic advancement for early care and education providers in Sonoma County

Objective 4G: Advocate for programs and policies that support children and families

Goal 5: Engage Entire Community to Support Achievement of First 5 Sonoma County Goals

Objective 5A: Increase the awareness of parents and the community about: the needs of children 0-5 and their parents and caregivers; ctivities to support the optimal development of children 0-5; and first 5 Sonoma County and the nature and value of services/programs provided by its grantees and community partners
Objective 5B: Conduct social marketing to increase behaviors that support optimal child development
Objective 5C: Provide financial incentives for the community to implement projects that support First 5 Sonoma County Goals
Objective 5D: Inform and engage the private sector to understand and value the high return on investments in early childhood

Eligible Activities:

First 5 Mini-Grants fund projects that address the needs of children ages 0 to 5. Applications to support child care programs must be organized around one major theme or focus, for example outdoor play equipment to improve large motor skills, or shelving and books for a reading area. It is best to apply for several large, good quality items rather than many small items. Below are examples of eligible as well as excluded activities.

Eligible Activities:
-One-time events or pilot projects
-One-time purchase of curriculum materials or equipment, such as indoor or outdoor play equipment, books or educational tools
-Development of training(s) and/or enrollment in appropriate training
-Facility improvements primarily benefiting the child care program
-Technical assistance to enhance/improve services for 0-5

All early education providers receiving mini grants will be directed to the Quality Counts Program Director to learn more about future funding opportunities through the Quality Counts program.  Quality Counts provides opportunities for Sonoma County early education providers to receive stipends for program quality improvement, access no-cost coaching, low/no cost professional development and trainings, and technical assistance to complete the QRIS rating process.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172905

Estimated Size of Grant:

-Family child care providers licensed for 6 to 8 children may request up to $2,000.
-Family child care providers licensed for 9 to 14 children may request up to $3,500.
-Child care centers may request up to $5,000.
-Agencies and individuals may request up to $5,000.

There is no minimum request.

Term of Contract:

If you receive a mini-grant, you will have one year to complete your mini-grant project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications will be accepted from:

-Nonprofit or public organizations
-Community groups that are working with a nonprofit, public institution, or private corporation that serves as their fiscal agent (manages the grant money and reporting activities)
-Private corporations or businesses
-Individuals who conduct activities that promote children’s development
-All early education providers serving children 0-5 who have never received a mini-grant in the past, including current Quality Counts participants are eligible.  Only direct survivors of the October, 2017 wildfires who lost family child care homes or preschool centers may apply for a mini grant a second time. 

Excluded Activities
-Ongoing activities or regular staff positions
-Purchase of computer hardware, software or digital electronic devices
-Personal scholarships or to pay for regular academic coursework
-Home improvements such as bike paths, sod or fencing
-Consumable products such as paper and art supplies

Pre-Application Information:

There are two mini-grant application periods: June 1 - July 15 and December 1 - January 15.

Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on the last day of each application period. If the 15th falls on a weekend or holiday, applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on the next business day. Late applications will not be accepted.

Applications must be submitted by mail or hand delivered. Faxed or e-mailed applications will not be accepted. Applications without an original signature on the cover sheet will not be accepted.

Notification letters will be mailed within 30 days following the Commission meeting at which mini-grant applications are approved — usually the meetings in October (for June/July applications) and April (for December/January applications).


Contact Information:

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

Mail or deliver applications to:
490 Mendocino Avenue, Suite 203
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Attention: Mini-Grant Program

For questions, call:

(707) 565-6686

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: Sonoma County