Funding Resources for Providers

Explore our list of collected funding resources for Southern Minnesota Child Care providers. 

​Childcare Forgivable Loan Program

The Blue Earth County Childcare Forgivable Loan Program is intended to serve as funds to expand or improve the availability of childcare in small cities and townships across the county. To qualify, the project must not be located within a city with a population greater than 5,000. The childcare center can be either home-based or center-based, as well as either for-profit or non-profit. To learn more, visit our Childcare Forgivable Loan Program web page
First Children's Finance Logo

First Children's Finance

First Children's Finance provides financing, training and business-development assistance to child care businesses. They can assist with potential need analysis, financial modeling for new and existing child care businesses, business strategy & plan development, general business training, and have a rural child care innovation program. 

Contacts
Jeff Andrews, Business Development Manager
(612) 279-6525
jeff@firstchildrensfinance.org

Jim Dickinson, Loan & Financing Needs
(612) 279-6507
jim@firstchildrensfinance.org
Families First Logo
Child Care Aware Logo

Families First of MN/Child Care Aware

Funding from these organizations are tied to program and curriculum improvements and requires an on-going relationship in which the agency and day care provider work with each other over a long period of time to make improvements. Providers are rated on improvements and program offerings, much like an accreditation. They can assist with providing high-quality learning environments, start-up grants, regional grants to support existing providers, Parent Aware, professional development, and consulting on start-up, licensing, staffing, and quality for family and center providers. 

Contacts

Dawn Eckhoff, Grants (start-up & current providers)
(507) 287-2020 ext. 1525
dawne@familiesfirstmn.org

Amber English, Parent Aware
(507) 287-2020 ext. 1404
ambere@familiesfirstmn.org

Rhonda Olson, Professional Development
(507) 287-2020 ext. 1585
rhondao@familiesfirstmn.org
SMN Initiative Foundation Logo

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) strives to provide quality learning opportunities that focus on getting the whole child ready to succeed. They host free training sessions & an Early Childhood Conference, have grant opportunities for communities & loans for family child care, and provide the Quality Child Care Program, which is $300 in free curriculum for joining Parent Aware & two hours of approved training. 

Contacts

Rae Jean Hansen, VP of Early Childhood
(507) 214-7012
raejeanh@smifoundation.org

Teri Steckelberg, Early Childhood Director
(507) 214-7015
teris@smifoundation.org

Marcia Haley, SBA Lending Director
(507) 214-7021
marciah@smifoundation.org