Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo Awarded $516,000 Grant from Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to Support Small Home-Based Childcare Providers

Buffalo, N.Y. – Today, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo announced a $516,000 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to support small home-based childcare providers through the Small Grants for Small Children program.

The Community Foundation will work with the Childcare Resource Network serving Erie County, the Niagara Community Action Program, Inc. and ACCORD to distribute grants of $2,000 to more than 250 home-based childcare providers across Erie, Niagara, Wyoming and Allegany counties. Childcare providers will have flexibility to use the funds as they best see fit to help them re-open or remain open to continue to provide high quality care for children.

Childcare providers are struggling to accommodate the changing needs of families while balancing this with their own needs for reliable income and fears of being exposed to COVID-19. Most challenged are the small home-based childcare programs that serve between three and twelve children. Currently, they are ineligible for many of the Federal and State supports available to small businesses. This is exacerbated by the fact that most programs supporting small business do not have childcare on their radar.

The grant to the Community Foundation is part of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation’s $1 million total investment to support small home-based childcare providers across Western New York. Grants have also been distributed to the Rochester Area Community Foundation, Chautauqua Community Foundation and Cattaraugus Community Foundation. This program is modeled after the long-standing Small Grants to Small Children developed by the Adirondack Foundation.

“Childcare is essential now more than ever,” said Amber Slichta, Vice President of Programs at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “Small home-based childcare providers rarely qualify for support and in turn, do not view themselves as small businesses. It’s important that we continue to fill these gaps and uplift these providers, as they are often the only option for working families in rural areas and urban neighborhoods.”

“As we move toward COVID-19 recovery efforts in our community, these childcare grants made possible by the generosity of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation will make a big impact in Western New York,” said Betsy Constantine, Executive Vice President, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. “The regional collaboration between the foundations and the Childcare Resource Networks will ensure that we can support childcare providers during a critical time of building back in our community.”

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About the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

For more than a century, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has enhanced and encouraged long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. A 501 (c)(3) organization, the Community Foundation’s mission is: Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. Established in 1919, the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to the Community Foundation’s care. Learn more at

About the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation 

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the Foundation that bears his name. The Foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson’s desire for the Foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable and overseen by those who knew him best.