Scott County Growth Fund Program Frequently Asked Questions

Pages of Interest

Program Overview

2018 Growth Fund FAQs (printer-friendly version of this page)

Application Form and Instructions


Eligibility for the Scott County Growth Fund Program:

1. What are the eligibility requirements?

For requirements, review full program information at

2. Are we eligible if we are a very small, large, full-day, part-day, full-year, or part-year center?

Yes, all of these are eligible as long as you meet the other requirements.

3. Is our center required to be nonprofit to qualify?

No. Both for-profit and nonprofit centers may apply.

4. What is meant by “serve low-income families”?

You are considered serving low-income families if you 1. Are approved to accept reimbursements through Iowa State Child Care Assistance; 2. Accept the federal food program (CACFP); or 3. Show evidence of service to low income families in another way, such as a scholarship program.

5. What if we do not participate in the Iowa Quality Rating System?

If you do not already have an Iowa QRS rating you must commit to applying by June 1, 2019. Explain your QRS application status or plans to apply under Current Iowa Quality Rating System (QRS) Status on the application. To learn more about IA QRS go to

6. May we apply if we are involved with Statewide Voluntary Preschool, Head Start, Early Head Start, or Shared Vision programs?

Yes, as long as you meet the other eligibility requirements.


Expectations of Participating Centers:

1. What representatives from our center will participate in the Growth Fund?

Each center’s Growth Fund Team will consist of the center director and a second leadership team member, usually the owner or one member from the board of directors. The second representative should be a person who is integrally involved in high level business decisions for the center.

2. How many trainings or meetings are center directors expected to attend over the 2 ½ years?

Total expected gatherings for center directors will average about once every month and a half. The second team member is expected to attend a minimum of 2 meetings per year in addition to the initial orientation.


Application Process and Technical Questions:

1. How do we apply for the Growth Fund Program?

Review the full program information at

2. How competitive will the application process be?

This depends on the number of applications. A total of 4 or 5 centers will be selected.

3. Is it ok to contact First Children’s Finance with questions while filling out the application?

Yes! We are happy to answer questions about the application, eligibility requirements, or program.

4. If several centers exist under one umbrella, do they apply as one – or as individual centers?

An organization may apply as a whole, or focus on one or more centers. An umbrella may not submit more than one application to a particular Growth Fund opportunity.

5. Are applicants visited?

Yes. First Children’s Finance staff may request a visit as part of the application review process, and visits by First Children’s Finance staff will occur on site 4 times during the year.

6. If awarded, when does the program start and when are grants disbursed?

There will be orientation in August of 2018. Centers will attend workshops and write their business improvement plans from August 2018 to January 2019. The first grants of $2,500 each are scheduled to be disbursed in February 2019. Upon approval for Scott County Kids funding, the second grants of $2,500 each are scheduled to be disbursed in fall of 2019.

7. Must we include a project budget with our application?

No. The first phase of the Growth Fund uses the business needs assessment and business improvement planning to help you to develop your project budget.

8. May programs reapply in the future?

Yes! You may reapply as long as you meet the current eligibility requirements of the Scott County Growth Fund Program.


Narrative Section of the Application:

1. How do we describe “current programs”?

When describing current programs, you may include center level programming as well as programs that occur at the classroom level.

2. Who are our “key staff” members?

Key classroom staff includes lead teachers or others who serve in a classroom leadership role.

Key non-classroom and management staff includes your director, assistant director, financial managers or other key managers of your business operations.

3. Will centers be required to implement the improvement ideas listed on the application?

No. Revisions are common after your application. Your vision of how the Growth Fund could help your center may evolve as you go through the process.

4. Are all of the attachments required?

Yes, unless they are clearly marked “optional”. If you have questions, contact First Children’s Finance.


Program Support:

1. How is the Growth Fund Program supported?

This program has been made possible with funding from Scott County Kids, Iowa DHS and First Children’s Finance.