New Series Explores Role of CDFIs in Childcare Sector

Olivia Barrow, Policy Manager, Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF)

Guest blog post written by Olivia Barrow, Policy Manager, Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF)

Last week the National Children’s Facilities Network (NCFN) released “Journey to Becoming Early Childhood Facilities Champions,” a new multimedia piece highlighting two Detroit-based childcare providers — LaShawn Bridges at Blessed Beginnings Learning Center and Zina Davis at Children of the Rising Sun — on their journey to become childcare facility champions in partnership with IFF.

The piece — produced by IFF, an OFN Member and NCFN Executive Committee Member — demonstrates the importance of investing in authentic relationships; elevating knowledge based upon research and best practices; the possibilities and solutions created by bringing capital to communities via facility improvement grants; and access to real estate and design expertise that honors the integrity of the vision and voices of women-owned childcare businesses. It also provides a roadmap for other community development entities to engage in transformational work that potentially transcends the historic issues that plague communities across our country.

This is the first piece in “Making Space: Leading Perspectives on Child Care Facilities,” a series of thought leadership pieces produced by NCFN Members. The Making Space series explores the importance of high-quality childcare facilities, challenges to financing and accessing this vital infrastructure, and the role of intermediaries in achieving innovative solutions to increase the quality and affordability of childcare facilities.

NCFN is a coalition of more than 30 nonprofit community development financial institutions (CDFIs), financial and technical assistance intermediaries, and childcare stakeholders dedicated to helping early childhood education (ECE) providers develop high-quality physical learning environments and sustainable business models. By providing technical assistance and financing to early learning providers, we seek to address capital needs and business capacity challenges that limit the ability of working families to gain equitable access to high-quality ECE programs.

Visit the NCFN website to learn more about becoming an NCFN Member.