Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced this week a $300,000 investment to support Rochester Childfirst Network’s program to develop new in-home childcare businesses and support existing in-home daycares.
The program will work with new childcare providers who want to launch an in-home childcare business or existing providers who want to open a second location.
The program will provide grants of up to $20,000 to these entrepreneurs to cover licensing and legal fees and other startup costs. RCN’s goal is to help 10 new sites launch in 2024.
In addition, the program will provide grants of up to $2,000 for existing daycares to cover documented, eligible expenses.
The funding is being provided by the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency.
“For many of our working families, childcare can be both an economic necessity and a barrier to advancement and greater opportunity,” Bello said in a release. “This program will help expand the number childcare offerings in our community, while also helping entrepreneurs – primarily women of color – to launch and sustain new businesses.”
The RCN programs supports over 180 small childcare businesses in the greater Rochester area, serving more than 2,000 children. Almost all of them owned and operated by women of color.
Ann Marie Stephan, RCN executive director, said childcare in Monroe County is still emerging from the effects of the pandemic, noting that from 2020 to 2022, more than 70 sites in the county closed their doors.
“This grant will ensure that employees can go to work every day, knowing that their children are safe, happy and loved, at in-home centers throughout Monroe County,” she said.
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