Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to johnc@cfra.org.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Financing Our Future Through Children

Financing Our Future through Children the Focus of New Program
Because child care is a vital community development issue, South Dakota is offering capital for child care providers and centers

by Michael Holton, michaellh@cfra.org

Last month’s article dealt with children and child care in rural areas, or maybe more importantly, the lack of both. The article also looked at the lack of qualified child care givers. South Dakota has come up with a unique and novel way to address this need and help people attain financial capital to be used for child care.

On December 29, 2005, the Development Corporation for Children in partnership with the South Dakota Rural Enterprise, Inc. announced that loans will be made available for the purpose of working with child care providers and licensed child care centers in South Dakota. The program is known as First Children’s Finance – South Dakota.

As Beth Davis, president of South Dakota Rural Enterprise, Inc. made very clear, child care services are a vital element in successful community development. Now with opportunities to get financing for start-ups in this field, people will have more opportunity to put their children in qualified and professionally run facilities.

Eligibility requirements for the program include:

- Must be a registered family child care provider, licensed child care center, Head Start, or other early education program located in South Dakota.
- Start-up family providers who could become registered child care providers are also eligible to apply.
- Start-up child care centers who could become licensed child care providers are also eligible to apply.
- The provider must be willing to care for children from households with incomes meeting South Dakota Child Care Subsidy guidelines.
- Family child care applicants must own the home for which an improvement loan is being sought.
- Applicants must demonstrate that they are unable to secure a loan from a bank or other conventional lender.
- An eligible applicant will make or have made an investment in their business and be able to offer collateral for the loan.

The loan amounts are available from $1,000 to $25,000 for family providers and up to $75,000 for centers. There is also assistance with such areas as technical assistance for business plans, completing loan applications, and developing a cash flow.

The non-refundable cost to the applicant is $25 or $100 if the applicant is a child care center. There may also be some out-of-pocket expenses that would be required at the time of closing the loan. The actual loans may be used for cash flow, facility improvement, fences, curriculum, equipment, toys, remodeling, and other child care related needs.

For more information on this program, call 866-562-6801 or 605-978-2804.

post a question or comment here or contact John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org

Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.

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