County Expands Successful Child Care Provider Grants Program with Additional $300,000 in ARPA Funding

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners is tripling its investment of federal COVID relief funds into increasing the local availability of child care.

In April, commissioners allotted $100,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to award grants of up to $15,000 for expanding a current child care business or creating a new one in Lincoln County. That whole sum was dedicated to applicants within about a month.

Like essentially every county in Oregon, Lincoln County is a “child care desert,” meaning there are at least three children living here for every available child care slot. When it comes to infants and toddlers, Lincoln County is a “severe” child care desert, which means there are 10 infants and toddlers in the county for every available child care slot for that age group.

To help meet that great need – and in light of a report ( from Oregon State University showing public funding has been critical to increasing child care availability throughout the state during the past two years – the commission last week approved an additional $300,000 in ARPA funds for its Child Care Provider Grants program, with $200,000 immediately available.

Grants of up to $15,000 can be used for eligible expenses to create new child care businesses or expand current businesses' operations. Examples of expenses already approved during the first round of funding include: supplies such as new slides, tables, changing tables, potties, cupboard locks, developmental toys, books, highchairs, anti-choking devices, a play structure, picnic table, nap pads, cleaning supplies and kitchen utensils; trainings in CPR, first aid and food handling; and space and safety improvements to facilities.

Full details on eligible expenses can be found in the application. Applications will be accepted until all funds are dedicated or the end of the ARPA spending window in 2026, whichever is first. English and Spanish applications can be found at this link:

The final $100,000 allocated by commissioners last week will be available after Oregon Coast Community College’s child care accelerator program, which begins Sept. 13 at the college’s Central Campus in South Beach.

Applicants with questions about the grant should contact Shanelle Parks at or 541-265-4100.