NE Iowa Centers Recognized for Business Accomplishments

Four child care centers were recognized in February for their accomplishments as participants in the Northeast Iowa Growth Fund Program. The Growth Fund is a multi-year program designed to move successful childcare businesses “to the next level” in their business operations and growth.

Each of the centers developed a business improvement plan and received grant funds to support the implementation of that plan over the past two years.

Growth Fund participants used the grant funds to make business improvements related to marketing, signage, playground improvements, staff development, and certain equipment purchases. The results of their efforts lead to: increased funding through other grants and donations, improved financial conditions, increased enrollments, technology improvements that provide easier access to professional development opportunities, and increased ratings in the Iowa Quality Rating System (QRS).

In addition to the grant funds, the Growth Fund provided the 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 has been amazing with helping us become successful in so many areas of our business! Looking back, I don’t think any of us realized just how much of an impact this organization would make to the services we could provide for our families, and how much easier work could be for our staff. I feel that we have a responsibility to share our success so that other communities in rural areas can see how important exceptional quality child care is for small towns and school districts in Iowa,” stated Robyn Hill-Kofoot, director of Cub Cadet Childhood Center in Latimer.

Two community celebration events were recently held by First Children’s Finance, to recognize the accomplishments of following centers:

Cub Cadet Childhood Center, Latimer

Postville Child Care Services, Postville

Smith and Bulldog Early Learning Centers, Monona and Mc Gregor

TLC: The Learning Center, Charles City

There are 22 additional child care centers actively participating in Growth Fund Programs across Iowa. These programs are occurring in Polk and Dallas Counties, Scott County, and Black Hawk County. For more information on the Growth Fund, visit “Iowa Business Development Programs” or contact Heidi Schlueter at

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