Benefits for Providers and Educators

What is a Quality Improvement Grant?

Quality Improvement Grants (QI Grants) are made possible through Michigan's Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant. To date, a total of $4,912,082 has been awarded to 1,210 child care programs and providers across the state, in support of the achievement of Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant’s goal: 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.  With the awarded funds, early childhood programs and providers were able to purchase high quality early learning materials which supported their program’s Quality Improvement Plan goals. 

Quality Improvement Grant and all related materials are made available through a grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education and U.S. Department of Education.

What is the Current Status of Funding?

Funding to support Cycle 3 applicants who originally received an approval letter for delayed funding has been identified from Michigan’s Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) budget!   We understand that your program's needs and your Quality Improvement Plan goals may have changed since your original application.  Because of this, and the limited time frame in which all Race to the Top- Early Learning Challenge funds must be spent, a different approach will be taken to award Quality Improvement Grant applicants who applied during Cycle 3.

How do I access my Cycle 3 QI Grant award?

If your program previously received a delayed approval letter during the QI Grant Cycle 3, please access the catalog in the “Cycle 3 Resources” section (to the right).  A link to your program’s order form will be sent to you via email. 

Please note: If your program did not complete previous QI Grant reporting requirements, including the submission of a report form or any additional requested follow-up information regarding your QI Grant funds, your program is not eligible to receive a QI Grant Cycle 3 award.  Additionally, to be eligible, your program must currently have a published rating on Great Start to Quality.  

How long can I access my Cycle 3 QI Grant award?

Due to the limited time frame in which all Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge funds must be spent (December 31, 2018), please understand that all due dates are final.  Order forms must be submitted by May 31, 2018.  For more information regarding using the order form to access your award, please see the resources to the right on this page.

Additional Funding Opportunities

With the identification of additional funds, Great Start to Quality will also be offering another incentive opportunity which aligns with the RTT-ELC grant’s priorities!  This incentive opportunity (Early Learning Awards) will be open to all programs and providers participating in Great Start to Quality, including awardees from all previous Quality Improvement Grant cycles. Award amounts will vary based on a number of factors intended to support high risk children having access to high quality. Please visit to learn more about Early Learning Awards, and how you can apply!

Community Based Grant Opportunities to Consider

In order to assist providers who were anticipating applying for future grant cycles, Great Start to Quality has provided a list of potential opportunities for other funding.  Please note these are not in any way endorsed by the Early Childhood Investment Corporation, and are only being shared as additional options to consider.  Please review all eligibility criteria, as some grant opportunities are only available to specific types of providers, and during certain times of the year.

Great Start to Quality will continue to share possible grant opportunities for child care providers in Michigan!  Please continue to visit to explore potential opportunities. makes getting help easy for any teacher with a classroom in need, moving us closer to a nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they need for a great education.

Right now, PNC Grow Up Great® is matching all donations to qualifying pre-K and Head Start projects in Michigan!  PNC believes deeply in the power of high-quality early childhood education and are dedicated to providing innovative opportunities that assist families, educators and community organizations to enhance children’s learning and development.

Eligibility Checklist

  • All requested resources must be used by students or directly provide a student experience.
  • The request must be appropriate to your school (i.e., if your school can only service PC computers, you should request that type of resource).

  • The project cannot foster discrimination or proselytize a religious or political viewpoint.
  • Costs of labor, capital improvements to the school or grounds, vehicle purchases, salaries, or royalty/rental fees may not be requested.
  • We encourage teachers to submit projects that can be carried out at any time during the school year, as it can take anywhere from four minutes to four months for a project to be fully funded.

To review the eligibility requirements and guidelines, visit their website!

The Walmart Foundation offers their Community Grant Program tht awards grants ranging from $250 to $2,500 through each of their facilities (Walmart Stores, Sam's Clubs and Logistic Facilities).  Eligible nonprofit organizations must operate on the local level (or be an affiliate/chapter of a larger organization that operates locally) and directly benefit the service area of the facility which they are requesting funds.  Organizations must submit an online application to be considered for funding.  The 2017 grant cycle begins February 1, 2017 and the application deadline is December 31, 2017.  Applications may be submitted at any time during this funding cycle and organizations may submit up to 25 applications.

Eligibility Checklist

Organizations applying must meet one of the following criteria:

  • An organization holding a current tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3), (4), (6) or (19) of the Internal Revenue Code, listed on the IRS Master File and conduct activities within the United States;
  • A recognized government entity: state, county, or city agency, including law enforcement or fire departments, that are requesting funds exclusively for public purposes;
  • A K-12 public or private school, charter school, community/junior college, state/private college or university; or
  • A church or other faith-based organization with a proposed project that benefits the community at large such as food pantries, soup kitchens, clothing closets, etc.

To review the Walmart Foundation eligibility requirements and guidelines, visit their website! 

United Way is a world-wide organization whose mission is to "improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good."  Their focus is on education, income and health- the building blocks for a good quality of life and a strong community.  Each local United Way supports their communities with grants based on that focus.  Because your local United Way operates independently, they have their own time frames for grant applications and their own criteria for eligibility.

You can find more information about the United Way orgranization and find your local United Way location and website at  Your local United Way website will have information regarding programs they have supported in the past as well as information and guidelines for any upcoming grant opportunities.