Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Money for Running a Day Care Center

Funding for child care centers is a subject fraught with misinformation, old information, and out-of-place information. Sadly, this is true even on the federal website I have honed in on the part of the site that deals in where to get funds for day care centers, and found some good stuff, and not-so-great stuff. Among the good:

Starting and operating a child care business—still good stuff there, and information links that still work. However, their link to state resources? It’s dead. Use this one instead.  It links to state regulations on child care centers, and organizations that can give you information on state resources.

Child care provider loan forgiveness program—this was a pilot program back in the early 00s, and was designed to forgive student loans for people who went into child care work. The link is dead, and I did not find evidence of an existent program in the Department of Education now.

Financing section of the SBA district office website—this leads you to the SBA, which has good stuff on federal loans, but NO GRANTS or FREE MONEY. NONE. And the website to find the district office, by the way, is hereAnd the information on available loans is in this link

Find local Individual Development Account Program to save money for your business—this is a link to local organizations that provide IDAs—programs that allow you to save, and have the organization match your savings towards a financial goal 2 or even 3 dollars to each dollar you save, which I talked about in this post. An excellent idea to help you get enough money to start a small business.

What congregations should know about federal funding for child care—this is mostly about the money you can get from the government as reimbursement for caring for children, and how to become qualified for that, but it’s not start-up money. That will have to come from other sources.

Your state agency can tell you if funding is available—they can. Is that funding available as a grant or a loan? They are almost entirely loans, but I can say with all confidence, “it depends.” Most state agencies in charge of child care give loans, or reimburse providers for the care of low and moderate income children. A few may provide grants. Some may have had grant programs at one time, for a particular purpose, but no more (like Ohio). You have to ask the state agency. This, at least, tells you where to go to find out.   If you are a day care provider in northwest Ohio, there is a good program for lower-cost loans from WSOS.

A great site at the NCCIC (National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center) is this Microenterprise Resource Guide. It has links to microloan programs and IDA resources, and links to information about running a day care and where to get business advice. In fact, the whole NCCIC site is a treasure trove of information about starting and running high-quality child care.

As for the ARRA link? I would pay it no mind. For-profit small businesses like day care will probably not get direct ARRA money, and much of it has already been handed out (the link makes reference to action in 2009). If you want to be sure, check with the child care regulatory agency in your state, or the state nonprofit that aids child care agencies in your state or locality.  To find it, go to this link at the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies and put your zip code in the map.  You will find local help and advice there.

**Newest stuff: federal funding for home-based child care microenterprise for refugees here.  These are not for GRANTS, but for microloans and technical assistance.  Go to the bottom of the page, and--if you are a refugee and live in the service area of one of these agencies, and contact them for possible assistance.**

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