In rural areas, it isn’t unusual for a parent to drive 40 miles round trip or more to drop their child off with a provider. Through the Bright Beginnings loan program, SWIF hopes to expand the number of child care providers so that parents don’t have to worry about their child while they’re at work. This is one way we’re aligning existing successful programs with our new focus on supporting all southwest Minnesota kids.
Rural Minnesota, including our region, is facing a child care crisis. We need a 25 percent growth in licensed child care just to fill the shortfall. SWIF’s goal is to use Bright Beginnings to support working families, because everyone is impacted.
Bright Beginnings is all about supporting the business of child care. This program is designed to provide capital and business education to home or center-based licensed child care providers in southwest Minnesota, and we just established our first client.
Loans up to $15,000 are available, and the funds can be used for a multitude of things–including licensing, curriculum, playground equipment, educational toys and materials, repairs, renovations, or upgrades, code requirements, start-up or expansion expenses.
Providers must hold a Parent Aware Rating or be working towards obtaining a rating. Child care in southwestern Minnesota is incredibly sought after, with an estimated 3,000 kids who lack access to quality, affordable care.
Contact us to learn more about this program.
Economic Development Officer
(320) 583-2180 | [email protected]