Atlanta Child Care Providers Invited to Apply for PAACT Repair and Renovation Grants

PAACT: Promise All Atlanta Children Thrive is encouraging Atlanta’s childcare providers to apply for grants that will allow them to repair, renovate, or otherwise improve their facilities as part of the City of Atlanta’s Year of the Youth. Thanks to the City of Atlanta’s $5 million PAACT commitment, supported by American Rescue Plan Act funds, providers can apply for up to $75,000 in funding to support repair and renovation projects. Eligibility is limited to providers who are participating in Quality Rated and serving Atlanta children ages zero to four from families with low incomes. The deadline is July 28th.  

“We know that when we invest in our children from an early age, we can ensure a lifelong desire and love of learning, support for their cognitive and emotional growth and provide valuable wraparound resources and support for the entire family,” said Mayor Andre Dickens. “When my administration made a historic five-million-dollar investment in early education last year we showed the importance of uplifting our youngest residents and our commitment to ensuring that Atlanta is one of the best places to raise a family.”  

When PAACT and Early Learning Property Management, Inc. awarded eight child care providers with grants for facility improvements in 2021, an independent assessment by the Luminary Evaluation Group found that the brick-and-mortar enhancements led to powerful results. Providers and their staff reported increased motivation and pride in their work. They worked more efficiently and all members of the community—both students and staff—were safer.    

Led by GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students, PAACT is a city-wide alliance of public and private partners collaborating to improve learning, health, and well-being outcomes for Atlanta’s youngest children and their families.  

A driving objective of this collective impact work is increasing the quality of and access to early education. In 2020, PAACT and its partners established the PAACT Fund for Quality to support child care providers and families in the Atlanta area. The PAACT Repair and Renovation Grant program is a key component of the PAACT Fund for Quality.  

“For more than 12 years, GEEARS has operated to inspire a statewide movement on high-quality early learning and healthy development. It’s something we’re really proud of,” observes GEEARS Executive Director, Mindy Binderman. “As the backbone organization of PAACT, it’s exciting to see the relationships PAACT has nurtured over the years all come to fruition in a grant program like this, which is a true collaboration between many critical partners.”  

PAACT, the City of Atlanta, Reinvestment Fund, and Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) have joined forces to support Atlanta’s early care and learning programs with both funding and technical support to help improve the quality of their facilities.   

“The PAACT Repair and Renovation Grant Program is directly in our organization’s wheelhouse,” says Reinvestment Fund Program Manager for ECE in Atlanta, Lawrence Smith. “Part of our commitment to making sure all children have equitable access to quality early education means focusing on the physical spaces in which that education takes place. A child care program’s facility is not simply utilitarian. It’s a partner in students’ formative experiences.”    

The program’s partners will assist prospective grant applicants by providing technical support during the project design and execution, as well as the application process. This aims to ensure that a lack of grant-writing, project management, or construction experience will not be a barrier to any child care provider who wants to apply.   

Angie Garling, LIIF’s Vice President for Early Care and Education, agrees with Mayor Dickens’ economic assessment. “Supporting child care providers and offering avenues for them to improve the quality of their facilities is not only an investment in children, it’s an investment in families, in communities, and in our future. We are excited to see the exponential impact that will come now with funding invested in these businesses—and the families we will be supporting.”  

There’s no doubt that everyone contributing to this grant program (a group that also includes fiscal agent, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta) is a power hitter. But PAACT Director Shawnell Johnson notes that the program’s true stars are the child care providers.  

“What providers have told us,” Johnson says, “is that, while they’re still recovering from the setbacks of the pandemic, they never lost their ambition or passion. Coming into these funds, along with technical support from our partners, is going to go a long way toward helping them achieve the strength and stability they need to keep moving forward.”   

On July 11th at 7pm, PAACT will host a webinar for interested providers featuring a program overview and a Q&A. Click here for the registration page.

To access the PAACT Repair and Renovation Grant application, click here.