Benefits for Providers and Educators

What is an Early Learning Award?

A new incentive opportunity for child care providers will be funded by the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant! Early Learning Awards are a new opportunity for providers to apply for resources to support quality in their early learning and development program(s). Supporting purposeful efforts to increase quality and ensure that greater numbers of children with high needs are able to access high-quality early learning and development programs is the top priority of Michigan's Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge.

Am I eligible to apply?

This incentive opportunity is open to all programs and providers with a published rating on Great Start to Quality, including awardees from all previous Quality Improvement Grant cycles or Participation Bonus awards. All eligible programs and providers who apply will receive funding of at least $750 to support quality improvement. Award amounts will vary based on a number of factors intended to support high risk children having access to high quality. 

Please note: if your program did not complete previous Quality Improvement Grant reporting requirements, including the submission of a report form or any additional requested follow-up information regarding your QI Grant funds, you program is not eligible to receive an Early Learning Award. 


The Early Learning Award application is closed as of 5:00p.m., June 22, 2018. 

Timeline for Early Learning Awards
Early July - Applicants will receive email communication confirming eligibility.
Thru mid-July - Award amounts will be determined by the Early Childhood Investment Corporation and the Michigan Department of Education-Office of Great Start
End of July thru mid-August - Email notifications with award amounts will be sent in 3 waves*
End of July thru end of August - Orders will be processed
Mid-August thru the end of September -  Ordered materials will be delivered to your location

*We are prepared to award ALL applicants that meet eligibility criteria. Due to the volume of applications, award notifications will be sent out in 3 waves. Your program will be assigned to Group 1, 2, or 3 based on your Early Learning Award application date. The timing in which you receive your award notification has no implication on the availability of the award amount that you will receive.


Additional Information to Consider

You will need to have a published rating on Great Start to Quality prior to submitting your application form.

Due to the limited time left to spend Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge funds, the timeline for this incentive is not flexible and Great Start to Quality will not accept late applications, late order forms, or any other documentation requested past originally stated due dates. If you are interested in this opportunity, be sure that you are willing and able to be actively engaged in the process and adhere to all due dates. 

All communication from Great Start to Quality surrounding this incentive will occur electronically, via email. Because of this, please only include active email addresses within the program contact information, within your application. You will be responsible to actively check this email acount to receive the information that you will need throughout the process. Communication will NOT be sent to you through USPS mail for this incentive opportunity. 


Early Learning Awards and all related materials are made available through a grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education and U.S. Department of Education.