Benefits for Providers and Educators

What is a Quality Improvement Grant?

Quality Improvement Grants 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 purposeful efforts to ensure that greater numbers of children with high needs are able to access high-quality early learning and development programs.

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?

Due to the overwhelming response to the Race to The Top - Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) Quality Improvement Grant (QI Grant), the funds requested in Cycle 3 exceed the available funds.  This means we are unable to award all eligible Cycle 3 applications within the original timeframe.  Additional funds may become available; however, until such funds are identified, Cycle 3 QI Grants will be awarded according to priority.  As an opportunity to raise the quality of care for all children in Michigan, programs and providers that have not received a QI Grant in a previous cycle will be prioritized.

The Race to The Top - Early Learning Challenge is a term-limited federally funded initiative intended, in part, to ensure that greater numbers of children with high needs are able to access high quality early learning and development programs.  With these funds, a significant investment in the Early Childhood field has already been made.  To date, Quality Improvement Grant awards have exceeded the originally budgeted amount of $1,980,500, as reflected in Michigan's RTT-ELC application. 

Are you eligible for a Quality Improvement Grant?

We are currently in the process of re-determining eligibility should funding become available for future cycles.

When can I apply?

Should funding become available for future cycles, application dates and deadlines will be shared.


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.