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 (RTT-ELC) Grant. The goal of the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grant is to ensure that greater numbers of children with high needs are able to access high quality early learning and care 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 received a published rating on Great Start to Quality, on or after June 1, 2017.
    • Published Rating may be an initial rating or received through Reassessment or Re-Rating.
    • Your published rating date is exactly two years prior to your program’s expiration date.  Your program’s expiration date can be found on the Great Start to Quality STARS platform, on your program’s self-assessment survey page. 
  • Served at least one child receiving child care subsidy (Child Development and Care subsidy) within the last six months.


How can I apply for the Participation Bonus, if I am eligible?

Complete the application here! Access the application by selecting the "apply here" button.


How can Participation Bonus funds be used? 

Participation Bonus funds should be used to support increasing program quality, based on the individual goals and needs of each program. For assistance determining areas for program quality improvement, please 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 offered in 2018 will be available as a one-time bonus for eligible programs and providers, until set-aside funds for this activity are depleted. Regular updates will be made to this webpage to share how many Participation Bonuses remain.


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.