Early Learning Infrastructure Support Program


  • Physical Space and Facilities

Providence, Rhode Island

In July 2023, the City of Providence, in partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), distributed grants through the Early Learning Infrastructure Support Program to early learning facilities and family child care providers to help them plan space renovations, conduct assessments of overall suitability of spaces, and proceed with capital building improvements.

Funded by both the American Rescue Plan Act and the city’s general operating budget, the program enables providers to address urgent health and safety issues, expand their physical capacity, or come into compliance with licensing regulations.

In the program’s first year, 24 child care centers—including 16 home-based providers and 8 center-based providers— received a total of $1 million in total grants. The Early Learning Infrastructure Support Program will run for two years. 


City of Providence. (2023). Mayor Smiley, LISC Awards 24 Early Child Care Providers Over One Million Dollars in Infrastructure Grants.

Providence Business News. (2023). Providence awards $1M in Early Learning Infrastructure Support Program grants.

Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:

High-quality, affordable early education and care supports children’s healthy development and allows families to work, engage in their own educational pursuits, and/or participate in other aspects of community life. To support children and families in these instrumental ways, research suggests there is a need to expand the availability of early education opportunities across the mixed-delivery system.

Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:

  • Families rely on a range of formal (e.g., Head Start, center-based care, public pre-K) and more informal (e.g., home-based, relative care) early education settings; when choosing a setting for their child, families balance many logistical constraints and personal preferences.
  • But for many families – and especially low- and middle-income families – early education choices remain tightly constrained due to issues of affordability and supply.
Learn More About ELS@H Findings

Learn more about Providence

Context matters. Visit the Providence profile page to learn more about the city landscape.

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  • The city population is 189,563
  • The percentage of children under age 5 is 5.80%
  • The median household income is $61,365