Section 18. (a) As used in this section the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:
''Eligible facility'', a building, structure or site that is, or will be, owned, leased or otherwise used by 1 or more eligible organizations and licensed by the department; provided, that at least 25 per cent of the slots in the facility shall serve low-income families who are eligible for public subsidy; provided further, that leased facilities shall have a lease term that is consistent with the scale of the capital investment, but shall not be less than 15 years; and provided further, that municipally-owned buildings shall be eligible provided that there is dedicated single purpose space for licensed early education or out of school time programs.
''Eligible organization'', a non-profit corporation that is exempt from income taxation under chapter 180 or an organization in which a non-profit corporation has a controlling financial or managerial interest.
''Eligible project'', the acquisition, design, construction, repair, renovation, recovery from a natural or man-made disaster, rehabilitation or other capital improvement or deferred maintenance of an eligible facility.
''Grant'', a direct grant of capital funds to an applicant for payment of the costs of an eligible project.
(b) Each recipient of a grant from the Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Fund established in subsection (c) shall be an eligible project that demonstrates: (i) a need for such a project; (ii) the project benefits to low-income children and the affected community; (iii) a financial need for assistance in the form of such a grant; and (iv) local support for the project. Preference may be given to projects that have suffered partial or complete damage to an eligible facility from a natural or man-made disaster.
(c) There shall be within the department a separate fund to be known as the Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Fund. The department shall administer the fund for the purpose of making grants for the development of eligible facilities for licensed early care and education and out of school time programs; provided however that the department may contract with 1 or more quasi-public or non-profit entities to administer the program, including, but not limited to, the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation established in chapter 40H.