Forgivable loans available for new child care providers

Published 8:34 pm Thursday, February 20, 2020

A new incentive has been launched through a Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation grant for people starting new child care businesses in Freeborn County.

The Freeborn County Childcare Loan Program provides a forgivable loan toward expenses related to the cost of opening a child care business for newly licensed providers, a press release states.

Up to $2,000 is available per licensed provider. The loan will be forgiven if the provider remains in business and is in good standing with licensing two years following the distribution of loan funds.

The program is only available for new child care providers in Freeborn County. New providers must also be licensed for infants and actively seek to fill that age slot. The funds may be used for expenses such as licensing fees, training, safety equipment, toys, craft supplies, highchairs, cots and strollers.

The grant was applied for by the Freeborn County Childcare Committee. This committee meets monthly to address the needs of parents, childcare providers and employers relating to the shortage in child care. The group recently held a child care provider appreciation event to thank current providers for their dedication to the children and families they serve.

For a full list of guidelines and to apply, visit growalbertlea.com or contact Noelle Hagen with the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency at noellehagen@growalbertlea.com or 507-373-3930.