Benefits for Providers and Educators

What is an Early Learning Award?

A new incentive opportunity for child care providers will be funded by the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant! Early Learning Awards are 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 will be 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 apply will receive funding of at least $750 to support quality improvement. Award amounts will vary 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 is not eligible to receive an Early Learning Award. 


The Early Learning Award application form will become available on June 4, 2018 by 10:00 A.M.! The form will be accessible on this webpage, under the Early Learning Award Resources section.

This form must be submitted by 5:00p.m., on June 22, 2018 to be considered for the opportunity. Late applications will not be accepted. 

How do I apply?

If your program meets all eligibility criteria described, please complete the "Early Learning Award Application Form". Completing this form is the first step that you will take to receive an Early Learning Award. You can access this form to the right, under the "Early Learning Award Resources" section on June 4, 2018. 

After this form has been submitted, you will receive additional information, via email on or before July 16, 2018 with more information regarding the spending amount awarded to your program and next steps. 

Additional Information to Consider

You will need to have a published rating on Great Start to Quality prior to submitting your application form.

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.