Child Care Stabilization Grants

The Need

The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency highlighted the critical role that child care serves in our economy. Funds were needed to both stabilize the early childhood sector during the crisis and help the industry grow in the years that follow. Doing so ensured families had access to care, parents could return to work and businesses remained open. 

The Strategy

The Child Care Stabilization Grants helped offset existing operational expenses for child care providers, and providers are encouraged to pass along financial relief to families in their care. These funds were critical to steadying the child care sector and sustaining the early childhood workforce through the pandemic. Workforce Sustainability Grants under this program supported the recruitment and retention of qualified staff. 

Providers received additional bonus payments for serving infants and toddlers and children with disabilities, as well as providing services outside of regular business hours. 

These grants were available to licensed or CCCAP qualified exempt child care programs in Colorado that have been in operation since before March 11, 2021 (programs that opened after March 11, 2021, may qualify for a New Provider Success Grant). 

Key Outcomes and Learnings 

3,283 applications were received, with 89% of providers awarded grants. Provider closure rates reduced to pre-pandemic levels. A majority of providers maintained or increased starting wages for staff and provided tuition relief, saving families an average of about $475 after six months. 

A total of $257,105,967 in Stabilization Grants has been allocated.

green gear labeled access and quality


Amount: $257,105,967


  • Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA)
  • American Rescue Plan Discretionary
  • Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Expiration: September 30, 2023

Next Steps

Promoting Provider Outcomes 

CDEC will share stories from site visits on social media, newsletters, and other platforms to tell the stories of child care providers who have benefited from the grants. 

Reallocating Funds 

Recipients who were unable to spend down by the September 30, 2023, deadline have returned the funds, totaling $105,000.00. 

Additional Payments

An application for existing grantees to receive an additional payment opened March 15, 2024, and closes on April 12, 2024.


Evidence Brief

"Child Care Stabilization and New Provider Success Grants, Workforce Sustainability Grants, and Stabilization Grant Family Financial Relief"

Butler Institute for Families, University of Denver

(September 2023)



colorado map depicting counties with at least one provider receiving a stabilization grant and all counties are shaded
This map shows counties who had at least one provider be approved to receive Stabilization Grant funding. This map is updated on a quarterly basis and reflects data as of the date of generation. Data is subject to change.