City of Harrisonburg ARPA Child Care Fund

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Current Size: 80%

The City of Harrisonburg received nearly $24 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) Program. Recognizing the magnitude of this once-in-a-generation influx of funding, the Harrisonburg City Council conducted a months-long public engagement process to garner residents’ feedback on how best to spend the funds. Throughout the public engagement process, several areas consistently rose to the top of the public’s priority list, including increasing the availability of child care. City Council took note of residents’ input, made child care one of its own priorities for the ARPA funding, and allocated $596,000 for increasing the availability and affordability of child care in its approved ARPA spending plan.

With much preparation and deliberation, City staff developed the Child Care Pathway program in conjunction with the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Early Education Business Consultants (EEBC). The City’s goals for this program are twofold:

  1. Increase the number of child care spaces for children from birth to age five in the city.
  2. Support the long-term success and sustainability of all child care providers in the city.

The Child Care Pathway program offers free business technical support and one-on-one business coaching to existing or aspiring in-home and center-based child care providers in the City of Harrisonburg. Program participants engage with their peers in one of three cohorts, attending six business courses and receiving coaching from the SBDC. Through these means, the City strives to provide child care providers with the resources and support they need to operate effectively and sustainably for years to come, thereby increasing the availability of child care in Harrisonburg.


Key Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to receive funding from the Child Care Fund, applicants must meet all the following eligibility criteria:

  • a) Have a for-profit or non-profit child care business located within the City of Harrisonburg’s limits open to all children;
  • b) Have completed the Early Education Business Consultants’ Business of Child Care Program, as evidenced by a certificate of completion;
  • c) Be licensed, voluntarily registered, or religiously exempt with the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide child care services or have completed and submitted licensure, voluntary registration, or religious exemption application materials to the state and be awaiting approval;
  • d) Have a current business license from the City of Harrisonburg to operate a Licensed Child Day Center or Licensed Family Day Home within city limits;
  • e) Be approved by the VDOE and Virginia Department of Social Services as a Child Care Subsidy Program Vendor or have submitted an application to become a Subsidy Vendor;
  • f) Provide a complete Child Care Fund Grant application to the City of Harrisonburg, demonstrating eligible uses of the requested funds; and
  • g) Use the funding to bring a new child care business start-up to fruition or to expand the capacity of an existing child care business. Child care businesses that began operations after September 30, 2023, will be considered new for the purposes of this funding opportunity.


Application Process

View the Child Care Fund Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) [156KB] PDF image

Applications will open on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. Application questions and required attachments can be viewed in the NOFO. The City of Harrisonburg reserves the right to request additional documentation and information after application submission and prior to award of funds.

Once the application is started, progress cannot be saved. Please do not begin the application unless you plan to complete it in the same sitting. You may view the application ahead of time by reviewing the Application Preview [1.9MB] PDF image

Applications will be accepted through August 31 by 5:00pm and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications earlier in the application period rather than waiting until the deadline.

The online application is available online:


Evaluation Process

Following the application deadline, the City staff members will review and consider all applications using the application evaluation criteria included in the NOFO.


Execution of Agreement

Applicants selected to receive funds will be required to sign and execute an agreement with the City of Harrisonburg. The agreement will require submission of reports, as outlined in the Sample Grant Agreement. [181KB] PDF image


Grant Contacts

Luke Morgan, Grants Program Manager: ARPA