2024 William & Lottie Daniel Fund Child Care Scholarship Guidelines

2024 William & Lottie Daniel Fund Child Care Grant Scholarship Guidelines

The William & Lottie Daniel Fund Child Care Scholarship (Daniel Fund) is administered under the Foundation’s Child Care focus area for licensed nonprofit child care facilities that align with both the donor’s intent, and other community initiatives for child development.

Access to quality child care continues to be a critical need in our community. The high cost of care is prohibitive for many working families who earn just above the income eligibility threshold. In Santa Barbara County, the median household income varies significantly by region. If a family has an annual median income of $84,356 and has an infant and a preschooler in center-based care, they may need to spend up to 40% of their income on child care. In an effort to address this disparity, California updated the eligibility criteria to qualify for subsidized programs from 70% of the State Median Income (SMI) to 85% of the SMI. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges around the expense of care for parents and providers and the need for subsidized care far outweighs the availability.[1]

The Santa Barbara Foundation believes that every individual deserves an equal opportunity to achieve their potential and for working families to thrive in Santa Barbara County. To make this possible many working families need access to affordable and accessible quality child care. As part of the 2024-2028 Strategic Plan, the Santa Barbara Foundation has prioritized increasing affordable and accessible quality child care in Santa Barbara County. This grant program also emphasizes program quality, which has a big impact on children’s ability to thrive and be successful in school and in life, thus quality improvement efforts have been a longstanding priority for the Foundation.


Quality child care programs provide children with healthy and safe environments, caring relationships, social-emotional stimulation, and age-appropriate activities that enrich learning. Research shows that children get their best start in life when they have environments that foster their development through stable, nurturing and stimulating environments.[2]   These kinds of high-quality early learning opportunities lead to improved academic and life success. Child care scholarships are intended for year-round child care facilities that can demonstrate an alignment with the priorities below. Scholarships will be awarded to licensed nonprofit child care centers serving children 0-5 years of age and school-age children (grades TK-6). Priority will be given to organizations serving 0-5 years of age.

The Daniel Fund guidelines specify that families selected to receive funds must:

  • be Santa Barbara County residents,
  • be working parent(s)/guardian(s),
  • have an agency adopted sliding fee scale,
  • contribute some portion of the tuition costs, and
  • have a child enrolled in the program on a full-time basis.


 [1] Child Care Planning Council. 2020 Santa Barbara County Child Care Planning Council. https://sbceo.org/ccpc   

[2] First 5. Quality Child Care Matters. http://first5santabarbaracounty.org/parents/choosing-child-care/. Accessed February 2022.



For organizations serving children 0-5 years of age, priority will be given to organizations that: 

  • include age-appropriate curriculum for kindergarten readiness,
  • demonstrate quality improvement planning or participation in a quality improvement process, such as Santa Barbara County’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) and/or NAEYC accreditation,
  • demonstrate adoption of or progress toward the use of best practices for parent engagement, such as the Family Standard in accreditation and/or the Five Protective Factors Framework, and/or
  • demonstrate the use of or progress toward a standardized child development assessment or screening tools, such as Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) or the Kindergarten Student Entrance Profile.

For organizations serving school-age children (grades TK-6), priority will be given to organizations that:

  • include specific elements/curriculum that build language arts literacy and math proficiency; and
  • demonstrate quality improvement planning or participation in a quality improvement process, such as Child and Youth Development Program Accreditation, or show alignment with student achievement goals set out by the local school district.

Funding Amounts and Duration

Funding amounts vary by the age of the child served. The maximum award for Daniel is $50,000. The grant period is up to one year from the award date. A final report using the SmartSimple platform is required and is due within 13 months of the grant award, preferably no later than 30 days following program completion.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Organizations must be certified as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or use a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) tax status. Applications that do not contain a valid EIN (tax ID) number will not be considered. Organizations using a fiscal sponsor must review the Eligibility Criteria & FAQs for additional information and instructions.
  • The foundation accepts applications from public entities such as schools, universities, and libraries through an affiliate or supporting 501(c)(3) organization. Please see the Eligibility Criteria & FAQs for additional qualifying information and instructions.
  • The applicant must be fully licensed by the State of California to provide child care for the age groups it is serving and be in full compliance with the applicable codes governing child care facilities. For licensing questions, please speak with the Child Care Duty Officer at Community Care Licensing by calling (805) 562-0400.
  • The applicant’s staff must be well qualified to work with the age groups served.
  • The agency and program financial budgets must be commensurate with the costs associated with the care and supervision of children.
  • The applicant must currently serve children from economically disadvantaged families through established child care programs. Funds may be used to expand the number of slots of existing established programs. In order to accommodate centers that care for children in transition, such as infants in foster care or families experiencing homelessness, the scholarship may be transferred to other eligible families if there is a change in placement.
  • The funds applied for may only be used to subsidize program fees/costs for current Santa Barbara County residents.
  • Children receiving scholarships through this fund must have a working parent(s)/guardian(s). Please note: for the purposes of the fund, the term “parents” includes both single and dual parents and the authorized representatives of children not in the care of their natural or legal parent(s).
  • The foundation believes that every family should contribute to their child’s care. Often the amount depends on the sliding fee scale adopted by the applicant agency’s Board of Directors. The total cost per child must be reasonable and based on the sliding fee scale. The scholarship award will be based on the amount still needed to cover program’s costs after the family’s contribution has been taken into account.
  • Because the fund’s purpose is to help working parents, an applicant agency must be open at a minimum during the regular work hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Licensed child care for school-age children must be open when school is not in session during the workweek. In addition, the child care program must run year-round and not be closed for more than two consecutive weeks during the year.
  • If an applicant receives a child care scholarship, all advertisements and other announcements about the program must state that scholarships are available and made possible through the William and Lottie Daniel Child Care Scholarship Fund and the Santa Barbara Foundation.

Important Dates

April 16 & 18, 2024 Virtual Office Hours, By Appointment
May 1, 2024 Application Deadline
May 2-14, 2024 Review Period
May 15-23, 2024 Follow Up Questions
Late-June 2024 Award Notification
July 2025 Final Report Deadline

Contact Information

If you have questions about the suitability of your William and Lottie Daniel Fund Child Care Scholarships proposal prior to drafting your application, we encourage you to contact Jamie Perez, Community Engagement Coordinator at (805) 880-9395 or JPerez@SBFoundation.org.

For technical assistance or to schedule a virtual appointment, please contact Jamie Perez, Community Engagement Coordinator at (805) 880-9395 or JPerez@SBFoundation.org.


Application Process

The William and Lottie Daniel Fund Child Care Scholarships program utilizes an online application. Please follow the instructions below to access, complete and submit your application to the foundation. The Santa Barbara Foundation has switched their grants management system to SmartSimple. Please follow the instructions below on accessing, completing, and submitting your application to the foundation.

To Access the SmartSimple Platform

  1. Visit the Santa Barbara Foundations online platform
  2. On the Santa Barbara Foundation SmartSimple platform landing page, on the bottom right please click on “Register.”
    You will be asked to choose from 3 different entities:

    • Nonprofit
    • Fiscally Sponsored Entity
    • For Profit
  3. After identifying which entity fits your organization you will be asked to provide some general information about yourself and your organization (If your organization is not found please use the “click here to add a new organization” link in the instruction box to add manually).
  4. The initial staff contact is the first authorized representative to register and associate their profile account on behalf of an organization. This individual will also be responsible for providing accurate information in the organization profile and updating this information annually. They will also receive email notifications from the platform. Additional organizational contacts can also register and access applications on behalf of an organization already in the system. These additional users will follow the same registration process as the initial organization contact. The system will conduct a duplicate check and associate the user with the existing organization.
  5. You will receive a welcome email confirming that your registration is active. Please click the link included in the email to create a password. After creating your password, you can now access the platform to establish your Organization Profile.
  6. On the top righthand corner you will see the initial of your first name that you registered under. Please click there and a drop-down menu will open. Please select “Organization Profile.” You will be directed to a page with four separate tabs, General, Organization Information, Capacity Building, and Board Information. You will need to answer all mandatory fields in order to access the available grant applications on the platform.

PLEASE NOTE: Once an organization is registered and a profile has been created for a fiscally sponsored organization, please allow up to 24 hours (one business day) for approval to access available applications in the platform.

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