What makes First Children’s Finance unique?

First Children’s Finance specializes in the business of child care, sharing its expertise with child care providers and leaders to keep child care enterprises open and financially viable. Another distinctive characteristic of First Children’s is its ability to mobilize business and community leaders to collaborate with early care and education professional. These partnerships bring together the best business and child care minds with a single purpose of increasing the availability of high quality care.

What does “supporting the business of child care” really mean?

Well-managed child care businesses are more likely to provide stable, high-quality care and education—benefiting children and families, ultimately reducing costs to businesses and the community over the short and long-term. First Children’s Finance understands the challenges of running a child care business, and we help child care professionals successfully manage their businesses through a range of products and services. We collaborate with public and private organizations to strengthen child care through financing, building management skills among child care professionals and helping community leaders strengthen their ability to support child care providers.

What services does First Children’s Finance offer? For whom?

First Children’s Finance works with child care and early education businesses—in homes, centers, schools and pre-kindergarten programs. Our expertise, products and services include:

    • Loans to child care homes, centers, schools and pre-kindergarten programs
    • Technical Assistance related to loans, including budgeting and financial assessments
    • Consulting for child care professionals in the areas of:
      • Business improvement planning
      • Business assessment
      • Financial Classroom breakeven analysis
      • Board development and governance
    • Training to build the business knowledge and skills of child care professionals.
      • Developing a marketing plan to maintain and grow enrollment
      • Nonprofit board governance
      • Financial management and planning including classroom breakeven analysis, budgeting, cash flow, and accounting tools
      • Fundraising and grant writing tips
      • The role of leadership in managing change

First Children’s Finance also works with child care and community leaders on:

        • Community Planning to expand the number of quality child care providers and facilities.
        • Consulting and Planning to strengthen business development resources in the child care industry, regionally or by state.

What kind of expertise does First Children’s Finance have?

First Children’s Finance staff members have significant expertise in small business and nonprofit management, finance, community development, lending, child care, fundraising, research, marketing and communications. Staff members’ work is guided and supported by board and committee volunteers who are business and community leaders as well as child care experts.

How do I go about getting a loan?

Visit our Loans & Finanical Technical Assistance page for important information about loans limits, how they can be used and whom to call for more information.

Does First Children’s Finance provide grants?

Generally speaking, First Children’s does not provide grants, except through special initiatives such as the Growth Fund.

For grant information, visit The Foundation Center (www.foundationcenter.org). Many states also have organizations that assist nonprofit organizations to identify potential sources of grant funds. In Minnesota, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (www.mncn.org) and the Minnesota Council on Foundations (www.mcf.org) are useful places to start.

Who supports First Children’s Finance?

First Children’s engages partners and collaborators to finance its programs to build the business skills of child care professionals. Funders include government agencies, foundations, corporations and individuals. Our partners include banks, corporations and foundations, child care resource and referral agencies, elected and appointed government officials, child care leaders, economic development agencies, business and community organizations and research groups. First Children’s volunteers and partners invest dollars, time and valuable expertise to inform and collaborate on relevant programs and services, advise our activities, ensure our organizational health and keep FCF moving strategically toward a broad, compelling vision.

What is the Children’s Chamber of Commerce? How do I join?

The Children’s Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization of business and community leaders who are passionate about children and who understand the value of early care and education. Membership information is available on our Children’s Chamber of Commerce page.

Who can I talk to about getting involved in First Children’s Finance?

For contact information, see our Staff Directory.