Early Learning Facility Development

Early Learning Facilities (ELF) Grant Program

The ELF grant program was created in 2017 by Substitute House Bill 1777. The program’s intent is to help meet the critical need for high-quality early learning opportunities for children from low-income households through the expansion of early learning classrooms.

Through grants and loans, the ELF program provides financial assistance to eligible organizations for the planning, renovation, purchase, and construction of early learning facilities and classrooms serving children in Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) and Working Connections Child Care (WCCC).

For more information about the ELF grant program, see the Washington State Department of Commerce: Early Learning Facilities Program.

Current Grant Cycle

The Early Learning Facilities (ELF) program is opening a new funding round for the Child Care Minor Renovations Grant for Health and Safety on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024. 

The application will be available on ZoomGrants. Family homes, child care centers, tribes, and public school districts are all eligible to apply.

Pre-recorded information sessions in English, Spanish, Somali explaining this grant opportunity will be posted on the ELF web page before the grant application opens.

For more information, visit the Washington State Department of Commerce’s Early Learning Facilities Page.

Eligible Organization key dates:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024: Live Q&A webinar (English Only, FAQ document will be translated into Somali and Spanish)
  • Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024: Grant cycle opens in ZoomGrants at 7 a.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024: Pre-application responses due by 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 16, 2024: Completed applications due by 5 p.m.


The Imagine Institute is available to provide language assistance in the applicants’ preferred language. Please contact The Imagine Institute at 206-492-5249, or email CCSG@imaginewa.org.

Waxay Imagine Institute diyaar kuula tahay in ay bixiso caawimaad luuqadeed codsadayaasha arjiga luuqada ay doorbidayaan. Fadlan la Xariir Imagine Institute ee 206-492-5249, ama emayl CCSG@imaginewa.org.

El Imagine Institute está disponible para brindar asistencia lingüística en el idioma preferido de los solicitantes. Comuníquese con The Imagine Institute llamando al 206-492-5249, o envíe un correo electrónico a CCSG@imaginewa.org.

Technical Assistance

To help successfully navigate the facility development and licensing processes, DCYF offers technical assistance to all ELF grant recipients. Contact the pre-licensing team: dcyf.welcome@dcyf.wa.gov. Digital resources and references were put together to assist any person or entity interested in the development and licensing of early learning facilities.

Child Care Licensing Overview
Business of Child Care
Facility Development Process