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Refugees can get assistance starting their own family child care business through federal grant program

Child Care Council Inc. and Urban League of Rochester, N.Y. Inc. are teaming up to help local refugees become more self-sufficient by launching and operating family child care businesses.

Grant funding from the federal Refugee Family Child Care Microenterprise Development program is designed to enable refugees who have experience caring for small children to use their child care skills to earn an income. It also helps refugees who care for their own young children, allowing them to work in their homes as it is a significant challenge to work outside of their homes.

Child Care Council is one of only nine programs across the country to receive this federal grant funding, which totals $174,310.00 annually for three years. Urban League of Rochester will assist the Council in identifying potential grantees in the city of Rochester.

“Through this program, people who have recently come to the U.S. will not only be able to provide for their own families, but they also have the opportunity to attain the American dream of opening their own business,” said Jeff Pier, CEO, Child Care Council. “Child Care Council is excited to partner with Urban League of Rochester on this project, which will create new child care programs that help strengthen the community and make up for some of the programs that were forced to closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Chantz B. Miles, division director of business development, Urban League of Rochester, said, “The business development division at the Urban League of Rochester (ULR) is excited to have this partnership with Child Care Council. The hurdles that providers have to jump through to sustain their businesses are both intimidating and difficult. This partnership between Child Care Council and the Urban League of Rochester will help our child care providers sustain, strengthen and grow their businesses. ULR is committed and dedicated to being a key role player in building and sustaining our child care provider businesses here in Monroe County.”

To be eligible for the program, refugees currently living in Monroe, Livingston or Wayne counties must have lived in the U.S. for less than five years and be interested in starting a family child care business. Child Care Council will provide training in child care and business skills, as well as assistance with applying for a child care license. Eligible individuals also will receive a cash stipend of up to $3,000 for business supplies and materials.

Refugees eligible for the program can contact Osman Hussein, Child Care Council’s multicultural support specialist, by email at [email protected].