Business solutions that make child care work for owners and workers
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Child Care Business Resilience Program
for Retiring Owners
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Due to Covid-19, child care businesses in our communities are facing an unprecedented crisis. While the federal relief package provides a lifeline to many, it may not be enough. Some center owners—especially those owners on the verge of retirement—may be considering making the difficult decision to cut their losses and shut down.
If you are a child care center owner who is considering closure, we are here to help you explore another option that can keep your business alive: employee ownership.
ICA provides support and financing to help your employees become the next generation of owners, while providing owners with a flexible pathway to a secure retirement. As a transitioning owner, you can:
- Position your workers to not only save their own jobs, but to begin to grow their wealth in the years to come.
- Ensure families can continue to access child care and play a critical role in the recovery process for your community
- Set your own timeline for exit based on what matters most to you
Read our statement on the risk and lasting impacts of child care businesses closing down after this crisis, especially in minority communities.
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What is Employee Ownership?
Employee ownership means the business is owned and controlled by a broad group of employees. With support from ICA, employees share the risks and rewards of business ownership, rather than one or two owners shouldering the responsibility of rebuilding the business alone.
Worker Ownership: Frequently Asked Questions
Worker Ownership: What does it mean for child care workers?
Six Myths About Worker Ownership
Case Study: The Rose Garden
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Comprehensive Support and Services
ICA will provide free consultation services to help you determine whether a transition to employee ownership might help keep the doors to your center open while meeting your needs for retirement. Once it’s established that employee ownership could work for you and your business, we provide comprehensive support to make this transition a success.
ICA has been launching employee owned companies since 1977, and has created and preserved over 10,000 jobs in the process. We have provided exit planning services to over 100 child care business owners and are currently supporting over a dozen businesses in transitioning to employee ownership.
Free program services include:
Access to Financing: We structure sales to employees with a mix of seller financing, financing from a national network of banks, and our two affiliated loan funds. Child care workers are not expected to personally finance the sale.
Business Survival and Recovery Planning: We partner with you and members of your staff to understand and address the immediate needs of your business during closure and plan for the reopening process.
Ownership Training: We provide training and personalized support to help your staff build the systems, skills, and confidence to successfully own the business.
Support Networks: After a business transitions to employee ownership, we provide customized support to members to help them grow their business and build a positive ownership culture.We also connect members to other child care cooperatives to network and build shared knowledge.
This program is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Citi Community Development, and the NYC Department of Small Business Services.
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- Due to our funding requirements, child care centers must be located (or headquartered) within the states of Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania or the metro areas of New York City and Chicago.
- Business must have been operational for at least the last three years (and be willing/able to show financial statements for last three years)
- Business must show a profit in the last three years (pre-pandemic). There is no minimum requirement for profit.
- Business must have at least eight full-time employees
- Preference will be given to businesses that are women or minority owned
- Preference will be given to centers that participate in programs that benefit low income families.
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We estimate our application will take less than 10 minutes to complete.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and accepted until our resources are depleted. Priority will be given to businesses that apply by May 13. Once you fill out the form, we will contact you within 5 business days to discuss your eligibility.
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