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Stronger Together

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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Child care businesses in our communities are facing an unprecedented crisis. As a child care center owner, you’ve had your plans disrupted and may be experiencing burnout from months of uncertainty. Perhaps you were already considering retirement, but don’t know how to do that in the current climate. Or, the stress of operating a child care center during a pandemic has led you to consider selling your business.

If you are a child care center owner ready to move on to retirement or other opportunities, the ICA Group is here for you. We are specialists in employee ownership—an option that allows you to leave on your terms, while the business you built continues to thrive.  

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 after this crisis, especially in minority communities.

Apply Now

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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.


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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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Program Eligibility

  • 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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Apply Now


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. Once you fill out the form, we will contact you within 5 business days to discuss your eligibility.

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