The Blue Shield of California Foundation has made a $180,000 grant to the Children Council's Family Child Care Businesss Incubator. The program offers a path for home-based family child care workers to build profitable businesses that meet their communities’ need for quality care and guides microentrepreneurs in building the foundations necessary to launch and grow their businesses.
By investing in child care workers as the educator-operators that they are, Children’s Council helps them develop a business-owner mindset, which increases their income and wealth building opportunities. The grant will test the program in other communities and explore how it could be scaled up to strengthen professional development pathways for child care workers statewide.
Some of the most pressing needs for many home-based child care educator-operators lies in the operational side of running the business. With the support of the Incubator, child care workers have access to a framework for family care contracts, which provides guiding documentation for managing common and rare situations. The acute need for contracts heightened during the pandemic, as child care workers established relationships with new families or provided temporary care solutions for essential workers. Whether a child becomes ill or a parent misses a tuition payment, these situations can be emotionally taxing and lead to financial stress. Through the Incubator program, child care workers learn how to advocate for themselves and their businesses, establishing protocols that allow them to focus on their care.
In the last year, Children’s Council connected with a single mother of two young children, who wanted to spend time with her kids as she worked to build her career. She received her child care license but required funding to establish her business as she was rebuilding after being homeless. After seeking out the Incubator program for coaching assistance, Children’s Council was able to connect her with the financial backing she needed. The Incubator Program’s streamlined process put her business on a viable path, as she enrolled two children after launching in fall of 2020.
Children’s Council first tested the Incubator in San Francisco, and after one year, 140 participants completed the program, with 30 launching child care businesses. Even after shifting to virtual learning in the spring of 2020, there is a growing interest from current and new workers as more individuals become licensed, start their child care business, and improve their skills.
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