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Stronger Together

Business solutions that make child care work for owners and workers

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Find out how ICA can support your child care business  


I own a child care center and I’m thinking about improvement and growth


I own a child care center and I want to sell it to my employees


I own a child care center and I’m thinking about retirement


I operate a family child care home and I want to strengthen my business

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Improving & Growing your Business

Operating a successful child care business can be complex. The ICA Group can partner with you to strengthen your day-to-day operations, plan for uncertain times, and explore growth opportunities.

Our business consultants will work with you to assess the strengths and the challenges facing your business and create a user-friendly dashboard to track your business. Based on your goals, our consultants can help you:

  • Make strategic decisions

  • Increase your confidence in explaining your business to parents and funders

  • Plan for long-term business stability and growth

We also work with qualified business owners and partners to expand or develop new child care centers. To support developing child care businesses, ICA provides:

  • Market demand analysis

  • Competitive analysis

  • Staffing analysis

  • Feasibility analysis, and facilitates access to financing

Contact us to find out if you qualify for free consulting services

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Fostering Employee &
Community Based Ownership

Many child care business owners want to preserve their legacy and ensure their business continues serving the community long after they retire. Selling the business to its workers can achieve these goals while also increasing staff compensation, retention, and engagement in the business. ICA is a national leader in employee ownership. Contact us to receive a free consultation and explore whether employee ownership conversion is right for you and your business.


Worker Ownership: Frequently Asked Questions for Child Care Businesses

Worker Ownership: What does it mean for child care workers?

Six Myths About Worker Ownership

Case Study: The Rose Garden

4 Reasons selling your business to your employees is good for you, your staff and your community:

  • You can realize a higher gain selling to your employees.

  • The sale can happen gradually, at a pace that suits your needs and that you can control.

  • Employee owned firms are more profitable and faster growing than traditional companies.

  • It rewards employees and strengthens your community.

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Planning for Retirement & Succession

Although it can be hard, planning for your eventual exit from your child care business is one of the best things you can do to enhance the value of your business, ensure your legacy, and achieve the retirement you desire. Contact us to find out if you qualify for a free exit planning consultation.

Exit Planning Resources

Whether retirement is around the corner or years away, it’s important to have a plan. Explore these resources to learn key considerations for planning the next chapter for your business.

Ensuring Your Legacy

A Guide to Exit Planning for Child Care Business Owners

Exit Planning Chart

Common Ownership Transfer Options for Child Care Businesses

Valuation Resources

Understanding the “fair market value” of your business can help you plan for the future of the business and your retirement. Review these resources to better understand what a buyer might pay for your business and how to increase this value.

What’s it Worth?

A Guide to Determining and Increasing the Value of your Child Care Business

Watch our webinars  

Learn more about the creative and technical aspects of growing your child care business.

What will your FREE consultation include?

Our exit planning staff will work with you to help set exit goals and determine your financial needs for retirement. After this consultation you will receive:

Business health check and cost of care analysis

Enterprise Valuation

Analysis of business value drivers and tips to maximize value

A summary of paths to exit the business

There is no cost and all information remains strictly confidential.

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Strengthening Family Child Care

The ICA Group is working to make it easier and more profitable to operate family child care homes.  We are creating purchasing cooperatives that offer shared services and resources that meet local needs. Through cooperatives, family child care businesses can maintain independence while lowering operating costs and raising profits.

Contact us to find out if there is a shared service cooperative in your community.

Learn more about our current projects.  

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Industry Impact

Building Business Blocks for Child Care Success

In Southeastern Michigan, child care businesses are spread across a large geographic area. Although they may not be connected, many business owners across the region are facing similar questions: How do I maintain consistent enrollment? How do I retain my staff? And, how do I make my business more resilient in the face of industry challenges?  In December of 2018, ICA partnered with Leaps and Bounds Family Services and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan to answer many of these questions at “Building Business Blocks for Child Care Success,” a free business development and training conference.

50 child care business owners participated in seminars and discussions focused on business best practices. Child care business owners navigate many competing roles and responsibilities, and don’t always have the time or resources to focus on the business side of their child care operation.  To help owners improve their individual businesses, child care program leaders from the ICA Group provided expertise and guidance on monitoring key business metrics, strategies for recruitment and retention, and practical tools for business planning.

Many challenges that these small business owners face, however, can’t be solved at the individual business level and must be addressed by working together in new ways through cooperative shared services. After sharing some examples of how cooperative shared services can save providers time and money, the day culminated in a group visioning exercise, co-facilitated by Detroit’s Center for Community Based Enterprise (C2BE), where providers shared their ideas and priorities for shared services.  This feedback, along with ongoing conversations with center owners and home-based providers, will provide the foundation for new cooperative shared service offerings in Detroit.

Cooperatives provide a model that enables business owners to build trust, share ideas, and develop services for mutual benefit. Conference participants expressed enthusiasm for this model, which can help geographically dispersed businesses collaborate and thrive. Many signed up to help lead this work in Detroit, and one volunteer shared,

“Now that I understand how much I’m spending on food and supplies, I am excited to think about how we can pool our resources and purchase these items in bulk to save money.”

Following the conference, more than a dozen event participants received business consulting services from the ICA Group, provided free of charge to help owners improve the sustainability of their businesses while supporting their quality care goals. The ICA Group will continue to support conference participants in their creation of a steering committee to guide the development of a new shared services cooperative in Detroit.  

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Contact Us


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