News from the Rhode Island Child Care and Early Learning Facilities Fund

Creating Quality School Age Child Care Space an Online Learning Module

Our first online workshop, Creating Quality School Age Child Care Space, is officially ready! You can register to participate in this virtual learning opportunity on your own schedule and at your own pace. In order to access this learning module, you first need to register by clicking the button below.

School-age programs have the potential to be vital community centers that support the needs of children, parents and schools, by offering a place for creative play or quiet reflection, innovative learning and homework help, as well as relationship building with other children and adults. In an educational system where music, art, physical education and recess are increasingly reduced in favor of more structured attention to academic preparation, and where more and more households are headed by parents who work full time, after-school programs have become essential, and the built environment plays an important role in shaping how we view and interact with the world around us.

This workshop reflects best practices in the design of high-quality physical environments for school-age children from kindergarten through eighth grade (roughly ages five through fourteen). Whether you are planning modest changes in your existing center, a major renovation or a new construction project, this online module will offer strategies for planning, designing and equipping your space in a way that supports your program goals and planned activities.

This course will take approximately three hours to complete, including time spent after course completion to develop your own plan for implementation. Three (3) professional development hours will be awarded with a certificate upon successful completion.

This workshop is the first in a series of online modules we will be releasing. These sessions allow for self-guided and self-paced learning opportunities. If there are particular topics you would like to see covered, or if you need assistance registering please let us know! You can contact us at

And don’t forget to visit our Tutorial Training on the home page of our Online Learning Portal for more information about navigating the workshop.

May is Asthma Awareness Month

Were you aware that Rhode Island has one of the highest rates of asthma in the nation? Environmental factors, such as poor indoor air quality, can be significant triggers for asthma. Steps should be taken to improve indoor air quality in settings where young children spend significant amounts of time, such as child care and early education facilities.

The most common cause of poor indoor air quality is lack of proper ventilation. “Ventilation” refers to the vents which allow fresh air to enter and exit the building. Without enough ventilation, pollution stays inside the building and builds up to create poor indoor air. This can be addressed in simple ways, such as opening windows to let fresh air through, or with more elaborate mechanical ventilation systems. Filters on air systems, such as forced air heating and air conditioning, should be changed regularly. In addition, air duct cleaning is an important component of good maintenance. Systems can accumulate dust, mold and other particles, creating poor air quality and decreasing the efficiency of the system. Learn more about air duct cleaning on the EPA’s website by clicking the link below.

Some other simple ways indoor air and environmental quality can be improved are highlighted on pages 22-23 of our resource guide Greening Early Childhood Centers.

For more detailed information on this subject, you can download a training guide from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. 

Greening Your Child Care Space 

Speaking of greening your child care space, we want to offer special congratulations to LISC’s lead technical consultant, Mike Lindstrom of Studio MLA, on obtaining a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for the Nurtury Learning Lab child care center in Boston’s Jamaica Plain in Massachusetts! Read more about this “green” environment.

Interested in learning more about “greening” your own center? Our resource guide, Greening Early Childhood Centers, offers an array of information whether you are looking to build from the ground up or if you just want to make some small changes to your center’s environment. There are many benefits to implementing green practices; cost savings, improved child health and promoting environmental stewardship from a young age to name just a few!    

Were you aware that there are resources for small business in Rhode Island to help you improve the energy efficiency of your building?
Learn more by contacting RISE Engineering! 

The LISC Rhode Island Child Care Facilities Fund is Celebrating its 15th Anniversary!

2017 marks the 15th anniversary of the launch of Rhode Island’s Child Care Facilities Fund (RICCFF). Did you know? Over the past 15 years, the RICCFF has…

  • Invested over $20 million in RI’s quality early care and educational facilities – an investment which leveraged more than $30 million in additional resources
  • Provided technical assistance to over 250 organizations and individuals
  • Developed and distributed nationally published resource guides
  • Offered group trainings to hundreds of individuals, featuring nationally recognized experts in the field
  • Implemented virtual mechanisms for resource sharing, including monthly educational eNews, a resource rich website and an online self-guided training platform
  • Conducted a state-wide assessment of Early Learning Center facilities across the State
  • Elevated the focus on the importance of facilities as part of the quality equation

We are proud of this work and proud to partner with the early childhood community here in Rhode Island. As part of our 15th anniversary celebration, we will be sharing stories and resources designed to elevate awareness around the importance of investment in child care infrastructure. We’ll be culminating all of this with a very special event and hope you’ll join us along the way. In the meantime, please be sure to check out some of the photos from the past decade+ of our work!

Have you missed any of our previous eNEWS or want to reference something you saw in an article from the past?

Our entire eNEWS catalog is available on our website.
Be sure to check it out here!

Follow Us on Twitter

Did you know that your favorite Child Care and Early Learning Facilities Fund is on Twitter? Follow us here, and feel free to tweet at us @LISC_Childcare!


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 here to learn more about what the RICCELFF can offer your program.

LISC Rhode Island Child Care & Early Learning Facilities Fund  |  146 Clifford Street
Providence, RI 02903 |