New Iowa Growth Fund Program Grants Announced
First Children’s Finance has chosen five Des Moines area centers to participate in its Growth Fund Business Development & Grant program. This unique programs combines business assistance with grants to help child care centers strengthen their operations.
According to First Children’s Finance Iowa Director, Heidi Schlueter, “Child care businesses in Iowa have faced numerous challenges over the last few years from high unemployment to the increasing costs of providing quality child care. The Growth Fund gives these centers some crucial business consulting and financial resources they need to build a stronger, more viable future.”
Up to $15,000 in grant funds are available to each of the selected centers. The funds are used first to help the center develop a business improvement plan. The remaining funds are then used to support implementation of the plan over two years.
Past Growth Fund participants have used grant funds to implement business improvements related to marketing, signage, re-branding, facilities improvements, board development, certain equipment purchases and financial consulting.
The Growth Fund Program provides center directors with one-on-one business consulting, opportunities to network and exchange ideas with their peers, and to learn from business advisors in various areas of expertise from marketing to finances.
The Growth Fund Program advisors, a volunteer group of local business and early childhood professionals, share their knowledge and at the same time learn about the unique challenges of providing quality childcare.
The centers selected for this Growth Fund Program class are:
- Bidwell Riverside Center, Des Moines
- Capitol Park Early Learning Center, Des Moines
- Children’s Garden, Des Moines
- Perry Child Development Center, Perry
- Sunshine Child Care, Des Moines
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