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Mother and Child

Home-Based Child Care Business Program

The International Institute has introduced a in Home-Based Child Care Business Program to help refugees develop sustainable state-licensed childcare businesses.

Becoming a state-licensed family child care home business owner is important to the sustainability of the enterprise, since it enables owners to increase the number of children in care. However immigrants face multiple barriers to achieving this goal, including:

  1. Lack of start-up capital;
  2. Lack of understanding of the systems and of licensing requirements, regulations and best practices of the child care field;
  3. Limited English language skills; and
  4. Limited small business ownership experience.

We are creating a fully functioning model child care home to provide the opportunity for refugee women to see first-hand how a family child care home is set up and how it operates. Refugee women will be able to observe child care provision in the home's physical space. Its layout and safety measures taken, and toys and equipment used will all exemplify best practices in child care. This will provide a concrete example that can be followed and understood more easily than the best developed curriculum. Shadowing an experienced provider and ultimately practicing child care in a supportive setting will cement the knowledge and instill confidence in refugee women's ability to start their own child care businesses.

This "on the job training" combined with classroom-based training, micro-grants and ongoing technical assistance will result in the establishment of child care home businesses focusing on the child care and entrepreneurial needs of recently arrived refugee groups, including Somali, Bhutanese, Burmese, Iraqi, Eritrean and Cuban families.

Contact Information:

Julie Mauchenheimer, Program Coordinator
(314) 773-9090, ext 135

Sahra Abdi, Child Care Business Specialist
(314) 773-9090, ext 168

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