FCF helps a family child care provider make the transition to open a center.

After three years of providing child care successfully in their home as a licensed family child care provider, Angie and Marvin Smoot, operators of Truks-n-Trykes in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, turned to First Children’s Finance for help in making the transition to open a licensed child care center. Judging by the constant calls they were receiving from parents who wanted to enroll their children, the couple felt confident that there was a healthy market for their services, but they needed help to plan what was essentially a brand new business, with more sophisticated business and management challenges. First Children’s Finance was able to help the enterprising couple finance and build a new child care center in the rapidly growing area of Sioux Falls known as the Golden Triangle. FCF’s expansion loan of $75,000 paved the way to the Grand Opening of the new center on May 29, 2007.

As their name suggests, Angie and Marvin have a strong commitment to helping children learn through active play. But they support their philosophy with a well-planned curriculum and a teaching staff that carefully listens, observes, and documents the children’s growth and work.

Male involvement is also an important part of the couple’s child care philosophy. Helping his wife first in her daycare home and now as Assistant Director at the new center, Marvin saw that the children loved the opportunity to interact with him. “We work hard to recruit male staff as well as female, because we see that children benefit from the different ways of playing and interacting.”

“It’s a huge leap to go from running a family child care home to running a child care center”, says Angie Smoot. “But we knew the need was there and we really wanted to take on the challenge. We’re grateful for the loan and the support from the FCF staff. I would definitely encourage other family child care providers who are thinking about taking the plunge to creating a center to call First Children’s Finance.”

Learn more about the Smoots and Truks-n-Trykes at www.truks-n-trykes.com.

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