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Childcare Startup Grant

The Childcare Startup Grant program aims to increase the number of licensed childcare providers within Lincoln County. The grant can assist with start-up costs such as licensing and training fees, purchasing supplies and toys, making minor modifications to a property (such as fencing in a backyard) required to license the property as a childcare facility, and assisting with the provider’s cash flow in the early stages of operating a childcare facility.

The grant will be $5,000 with the following conditions:

  • The provider agrees to operate a childcare facility, licensed with the Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE) for five (5) years.
  • The provider agrees to operate the facility at maximum capacity. (Maximum capacity will vary depending on the ages of the children enrolled in the facility and schedule. Some leeway on capacity may be allowed.)
  • The provider is and remains current on all property taxes and utilities.

An additional $3,000 grant will be offered (for a total of $8,000) if the provider is fully and permanently licensed and open for business by September 1, 2022.

To ensure these conditions are met and to protect the LCEDF’s investment in new childcare facilities, the $5,000 grant is initially offered as a five-year loan from the provider’s local bank. Every year the provider meets the conditions of the program, no payments on the loan will be due. Instead, the LCEDF will repay $1,000 of principal and associated interest on the provider’s behalf to the local bank. If the provider operates a facility for a full five years, all principal and interest will be 100% paid by the LCEDF resulting in the entire amount being a grant. However, if at any point the provider closes the facility or chooses to operate at a reduced capacity before five years have passed, any remaining principal and interest after that point must be paid by the provider according to the terms of their bank loan.

The additional $3,000 in grant funding will be paid to the provider after the new childcare facility is operational and permanently licensed by the KDHE.

The grant application process can be adjusted to meet the individual needs of the provider, but generally will include the following:

  1. The provider must have attended KDHE’s required orientation. Contact Liberty Kester, Primary Child Care Facility Surveyor for the area at (785) 207-2041 or
  2. Have been pre-approved for a $5,000 loan from a local bank.
  3. Have submitted an application to the KDHE.
  4. Have begun scheduling training and certification courses to meet KDHE licensing requirements.
  5. Submit Childcare Startup Grant application to the LCEDF for review.
  6. If approved, an agreement between the provider, the local bank, and the LCEDF will be signed outlining the terms and conditions of the loan and of the LCEDF’s repayment of the loan on the provider’s behalf.
  7. After the childcare facility is operational and permanently licensed by the KDHE, the LCEDF will make a $3,000 grant payment to the provider.
  8. Annually, the following will be required by the provider for the LCEDF to make payment on the provider’s loan: proof of KDHE licensure, disclosure of any non-compliance findings by the KDHE surveyor during an annual inspection, list of enrolled children along with their ages and schedule, proof property taxes and utilities are current.

Download the Childcare Startup Grant application here!

If you have questions on the Childcare Startup Grant, please contact Kelly Gourley, Director of the Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation, at 785-524-8954 or by email:

Informational Meeting
An informational meeting was held September 7, 2021, with representatives from KDHE and Child Care Aware of Kansas discussing the licensing process and preparing your home for inspection. Current local childcare providers were also available to offer useful tips about owning and operating a childcare business. Below is a recording of that Zoom meeting. 

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