FCF Celebrates Accomplishments of Scott County Iowa Growth Fund Participants
On June 8, 2017, community guests gathered in Davenport to celebrate the accomplishments of 6 child care and preschool centers completing First Children’s Finance’s Growth Fund Program in Scott County. With funding support from Scott County Kids and Iowa Department of Human Services, the Growth Fund Program’s unique business approach has helped this Cohort to improve their operations, facilities and to add services for the families in Scott County.
Recognized at the celebration were:
Creative Beginnings Achievement Center in Davenport, Director and Owner Rhonda Eckhart;
Discovery Learning Center in Parkview, Director and Owner Cherrie Claeys;
Immanuel Lutheran Preschool & Child Care in Davenport, Director Kathy Yaudas;
Quad City Montessori School in Davenport, Director Elizabeth Bouslough;
Share & Care Christian Preschool in Parkview, Director Denise Weiss;
The Tiny Tots Learning Center in Davenport, Director and Owner Dionte McMath.
Since acceptance to the Growth Fund Program in 2014, a Leadership Team from each center received business training and one-on-one consulting from First Children’s Finance Regional Director, Heidi Schlueter, and Senior Business Development Specialist, Angie Rae Duncan. Through the Program, centers completed business assessments, wrote business plans, researched their markets, and analyzed their financial breakeven; to help them with their strategic goals to improve their quality, sustainability, and in some cases to expand services.
Small grants helped centers complete important projects including kitchen and bathroom renovations, added technology, increased security, new playground areas and equipment and new signage. A group of local business and early care & education volunteers and partners also provided the centers with helpful guidance through a series of group meetings.
During the Program, the Cohort collectively added 17 new licensed slots to serve Scott County. Total enrollments increased by a net 108 children and enrollments from low income families increased by 46.
The centers advanced significantly within Iowa’s Quality Rating System (QRS) for Licensed Centers. At the beginning, only 2 centers were participants in QRS. As of January 2017, all 6 had entered QRS and/or advanced their ratings. Share & Care Christian Preschool recently achieved the highest rating of 5 stars. Two centers, Creative Beginnings and Immanuel Lutheran have achieved 4 stars.
Looking ahead, First Children’s next Cohort of 4 centers in Scott County has one more year with the Program. Participants include Eldridge Preschool & Childcare, Noah’s Ark Preschool in Blue Grass, Newcomb Early Learning Center in Davenport, and St. Alphonsus Early Childhood Education Center in Davenport.
View photos from the event
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