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Need Help Understanding the Grant Application Process?

Answers to most common and frequently asked questions regarding the grant application process can be found on our website There are several places on the site to visit for additional information: 

Our online forum features questions and answers about the facility grant process and other timely topics as well. Grant instructions can be downloaded HEREAnd finally, you can view a video that walks you through the grant application process. 

If you have searched the site and still can't find an answer to your question, please contact us at, call us at 401-331-0131, or post your question to our online forum



Taking Back the Playground

Excerpt Reprinted from the Vancouver Sun


This article first ran in the March, 2012 edition of our RICCFF eNews, but it bears repeating! Enjoy...


Author: Frances Hill, Mary

Publication Date: 14 Dec 2010



That play spaces should be designed for children, not adults, might seem obvious. But a five-year study tracking the habits of toddlers and preschoolers in playgrounds across Vancouver suggests an obsession with safety has forced kids into safe but sterile and uninspiring outdoor spaces that might satisfy adult anxieties and needs, but shortchange children's development. 


Instead of traditional swings and slides, the kids want places where they can hide, play with dirt and be creative.

Susan Herrington, a professor in the University of B.C.'s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, who led the study, said modern, trendy-looking playspaces may be safe and the equipment is sturdy, but they leave nothing for childish imaginations. Between 2003 and 2008, she and her researchers studied 16 outdoor play centres, videotaping children aged two to five. They found that 87 per cent of the time the conventional equipment - monkey bars, swings, slides and climbing structures - remained empty. Even when the children played on or around the equipment, they used it for its intended purpose, like going down the slide, only three per cent of the time, according to the study.


Continue to read the




The Rhode Island Child Care and Early Learning Facilities Fund (RICCELFF) is an innovative public-private partnership dedicated to expanding access to quality child care and early education opportunities throughout Rhode Island. The RICCELFF provides the capital and technical expertise that child care and early learning centers need to improve the quality and capacity of their physical space. The RICCELFF provides a combination of training, technical assistance, grant funding and flexible, affordable financing for a wide range of indoor and outdoor projects including minor renovations or construction of new, state-of-the art facilities and playground spaces. Click the logo below to learn more about what the RICCELFF can offer your program. 



March 2015 eNews
In case you missed the news, early learning facility grants are now available. Learn more about the grants and about the application process on our website www.riccelff.orgThe deadline for Wave 2 funding is March 6, 2015.
An Overwhelming Response to Wave 1 Early Learning Facility Grants

We received 59 applications with requests totaling more than $1.6 million in Wave 1 of our Early Learning Facility Grants program. We know the need for facility funding is so great and we share your desires to see our youngest children cared for in environments that are safer and better for children overall. We applaud everyone who is working hard to make improvements to their spaces indoors and outdoors! Unfortunately we will not be able to fund all of the many worthy requests that we received, but we are working with a committee of early learning community stakeholders to make difficult decisions about the best ways to prioritize limited resources. Funding decision letters will be sent out soon to all applicants in Wave 1. Don't forget that for centers needing to undertake facility projects that may not be eligible for or meet priority categories of the Early Learning Facility grant program, Rhode Island LISC has low interest, flexible loan programs available to qualified child care and early learning programs in Rhode Island. Learn more by visiting the Rhode Island LISC website or by contacting Mary Fasano at the Rhode Island LISC office
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We Recommend...

Whether you choose to read her blog, like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter or visit her Pinterest Page, we recommend checking out Let the Children Play! Let the Children Play is the inspiration of Jenny, a teacher at a progressive early learning center located in the Australian bush. Her sites are chock full of great low-cost ideas to add creativity to your spaces indoors and out!
Creating Quality School-Age Child Care Space

Need inspiration for improving your school-age child care space? Be sure to download a copy of our resource guide, Creating Quality School-age Child Care Space. 

Bollards and Barriers - Giving you the Facts! 

"Bollard" must be one of the most commonly used terms in the Rhode Island Early Childhood community today. Nearly every center that has a playground adjacent to a roadway has heard by now that there should be some sort of protection in place that would prevent a car from crashing into the playground space! When you think about it, this is, of course, common sense. But what is a bollard? Are all bollards the same? Does it have to be a bollard? When is a bollard (or other barrier) really required? We have compiled information regarding national standards related to vehicle barriers to give you some guidance as you work to make your spaces safer for the children in your care...

Key Requirements for Vehicle Barriers 

(ASTM 2049 - 7.6)


Barriers should be used when a play area is located within 30 feet of streets or parking lots to prevent vehicles from entering a space (ECERS). Barriers can either be continuous (guardrails, wood rails, walls, jersey barriers) or discrete (concrete filled bollards, trees, posts, etc). All barriers should meet the following key requirements: 

  • Contiguous barriers shall be a minimum of 31" high and discrete barriers should be a minimum of 4' high1
  • Contiguous barriers shall be located no less than 2' from the perimeter fencing of the play area (ASTM 2049 - 7.1.4).
  • Contiguous barriers shall be placed edge to edge, unless passage through is required, which shall be no more than 48" (ASTM 2049 - 7.1.5).
  • Discrete barriers shall be placed a maximum of 42 inches apart (ASTM 2049 - 7.2.2).
  • Solid walls meeting impact requirements may be used as a continuous barrier if the wall is a minimum of 4 feet in height.  (ASTM 2049 - 7.8). 



1. ASTM standards do not address the height of barrier rails.  The recommended height of contiguous guardrails is based on US DOT recommendations related to standard highway "W" type guard rails for traffic areas.  The 4' recommendation for discrete barriers allows vehicle operators the ability to view the barrier from the seated position in a typical car even in inclement conditions.

2. ASTM 2049 states "All barriers shall be able to withstand a one-time 10,000 lb (4535.9 kg) concentrated, point-load located 2 ft (0.61 m) above ground with permanent deformation less than 0.1 in. (2.54 mm) after a single load when tested in accordance with the U.S. Department of Transportation specifications (ASTM 2049 - 7.1.1)."  If this information is not available from the barrier manufacturer or installer, Owners/ Operators should consult with a qualified playground designer or use reasonable judgment when selecting barriers for a play area.  Standard transportation guardrails, concrete filled steel bollards, large boulders greater than 8 Cubic feet, trees greater than 2" caliper, large concrete blocks, or other heavy mass components will typically be acceptable as vehicular barriers. You may also check with the local RIDOT for other typical barrier examples acceptable for use along vehicular travel ways.