Benefits for Providers and Educators

What is an Early Learning Award?

A new incentive opportunity for child care providers was funded by the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant! Early Learning Awards were a new opportunity for providers to apply for resources to support quality in their early learning and development program(s). Supporting purposeful efforts to increase quality and ensure that greater numbers of children with high needs are able to access high-quality early learning and development programs is the top priority of Michigan's Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge.

Am I eligible to apply?

This incentive opportunity was open to all programs and providers with a published rating on Great Start to Quality, including awardees from all previous Quality Improvement Grant cycles or Participation Bonus awards. All eligible programs and providers who applied received funding of at least $750 to support quality improvement. Award amounts varied based on a number of factors intended to support high risk children having access to high quality. 

Please note: if your program did not complete previous Quality Improvement Grant reporting requirements, including the submission of a report form or any additional requested follow-up information regarding your QI Grant funds, you program was not eligible to receive an Early Learning Award. 


The Early Learning Award application is closed as of 5:00p.m., June 22, 2018. 

Timeline for Early Learning Awards
Early July - Applicants will receive email communication confirming eligibility.
Thru mid-July - Award amounts will be determined by the Early Childhood Investment Corporation and the Michigan Department of Education-Office of Great Start
End of July - Email notifications with award amounts will be sent
End of July thru end of August - Orders will be processed
Mid-August thru the end of September -  Ordered materials will be delivered to your location

 Early Learning Award Shipping Information

Delivery of your Kaplan Order:

  • Kaplan Early Learning Company will email you when your order has been received. This Order Confirmation email will contain a list of all the items on your order, so that you can be assured that everything is correct. You will receive a Shipment Confirmation email when your order begins being processed for shipment. This means that Kaplan's warehouse has begun to pack your order and is scheduling shipment with your delivery company.
  • For HOME PROVIDERS who ordered larger items that require truck shipments (Shelves, Cabinets, Lockers, Changing Tables, etc.), Kaplan Early Learning Company will be utilizing a specialized cartage company to deliver your heavy items, because most neighborhood streets prohibit the use of full-size tractor-trailors due to their size. Kaplan will group your delivery with some of your closest neighbors' so that they can provide the quickest and most efficient delivery to all of the recipients of this grant. This will mean that it may take a few extra days to prepare it and these other orders for delivery, but please know that Kaplan will make every effort to deliver all of these orders quickly.
  • For BOTH HOME PROVIDERS AND CENTERS who order large items (Shelves, Cabinets, Lockers, Changing Tables, etc.), it is important to us that your delivery be smooth, stress-free and allow you to continue to supervise the children in your program, so Kaplan's shipping company will be contacting you by phone to set an appointment for delivery, at a time that is convenient for you. As part of their service, they'll bring each item inside your building for you.
  • For providers who only selected smaller items, your orders will be delivered via UPS in the usual manner. You will receive an email with tracking information provided when your order is shipped. 
  • Kaplan Early Learning Company will work hard to ensure that you will not be interrupted multiple times to receive shipments, so Kaplan may delay shipping your order if it is affected by any backorders until your order is complete. However, Kaplan may send UPS shipments separate from a truck shipment for logistical reasons. If you receive an order that is incomplete, you can always check on your order by calling 1-800-334-2014 x 5058 or emailing
  • As part of the grant agreement, Kaplan Early Learning has guaranteed all deliveries to arrive by September 30. However, Kaplan will be processing these grant orders daily so this information is provided simply as a guideline and your delivery may be received sooner. 

Delivery of Your Screening, Assessment and Curriculum Order

  • The majority of Curriculum, Screening and Assessment items are purchased directly from the publisher and will not be ordered through Kaplan. All curriculum will be ordered within the next few weeks according to order date. 
  • A separate email confirmation will be sent to your program from the publisher once these items have been ordered and processed. We expect you will receive your items by the end of September!

Additional Information to Consider

Due to the limited time left to spend Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge funds, the timeline for this incentive is not flexible and Great Start to Quality will not accept late applications, late order forms, or any other documentation requested past originally stated due dates. If you are interested in this opportunity, be sure that you are willing and able to be actively engaged in the process and adhere to all due dates. 

All communication from Great Start to Quality surrounding this incentive will occur electronically, via email. Because of this, please only include active email addresses within the program contact information, within your application. You will be responsible to actively check this email acount to receive the information that you will need throughout the process. Communication will NOT be sent to you through USPS mail for this incentive opportunity. 


Early Learning Awards and all related materials are made available through a grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education and U.S. Department of Education.