Benefits for Providers and Educators

What is a Participation Bonus?

The Participation Bonus is a $500 incentive that rewards child care providers for receiving a Great Start to Quality published rating.  Participation Bonuses are made possible through Michigan’s Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant.  The goal of the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant is to support efforts to ensure that greater numbers of children with with high needs are able to access high quality early learning and development programs.

Are you eligible for a Participation Bonus?

To be eligible, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a licensed or registered child care provider or preschool program, in good standing with Child Care Licensing.
  • Have not received a Participation Bonus previously.
  • Have received a published rating on Great Start to Quality, on or after August 3, 2015.
    • Published rating may be an initial rating or received through Re-Rating or Reassessment.
  • Have created or completed a Quality Improvement Plan on the Great Start to Quality STARS platform
    • Applicable only for programs exclusively offering the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) as a non-Community Based Organization (CBO).

How can Participation Bonus funds be used? 

If you are awarded funds through the Participation Bonus, you will be able to use them to improve program quality.  For assistance determining areas for program quality improvement, contact your local Great Start to Quality Resource Center by calling 1-877-614-7328.

How long will the Participation Bonus be available?

Participation Bonuses will be available as a one-time bonus through the end of the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant (December 2017) or until set-aside funds are depleted.


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