Benefits for Providers and Educators

What is a Participation Bonus?

The Participation Bonus is a $500 incentive that rewards child care providers for receiving a Great Start to Quality published rating. Participation Bonuses were made possible through Michigan's Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) Grant. The goal of the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grant is to ensure that greater numbers of children with high needs are able to access high quality early learning and care programs.

Are you eligible for a Participation Bonus? 

To be eligible, you must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Be a licensed child care provider or preschool program, in good standing with Child Care Licensing.
  • Have not received a Participation Bonus previously (not awarded in any previous round of Participation Bonuses).
  • Have received a published rating on Great Start to Quality, on or after May 1, 2017.
    • Published Rating may be an initial rating or received through Reassessment or Re-Rating.
    • Your published rating date is exactly two years prior to your program’s expiration date.  Your program’s expiration date can be found on the Great Start to Quality STARS platform, on your program’s self-assessment survey page. 

Please note: If your program did not complete previous QI Grant reporting requirements, including the submission of a report form or any additional requested follow-up information regarding your QI Grant funds, your program is not eligible to receive a Participation Bonus Award.


How can I apply for the Participation Bonus, if I am eligible?

As of 5:00 p.m. on October 9th, 2018, the funds set-aside for this activity have been depleted.


How can Participation Bonus funds be used? 

Participation Bonus funds should be used to support increasing program quality, based on the individual goals and needs of each program. For assistance determining areas for program quality improvement, please contact your local Great Start to Quality Resource Center by calling 1-877-614-7328.


How long will the Participation Bonus be available?

Participation Bonuses were available as a one-time bonus for eligible programs and providers, until set-aside funds for this activity were depleted. 


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