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Business of Childcare Educational Series

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Business of Childcare Educational Series

Mid-Continent Public Library, Mo.

Workforce and Economic Development | 2020

Innovation Summary

Square One Small Business Services at Mid-Continent Public Library offered a three-part virtual education series for local childcare providers to learn strategies on how to run a successful business, especially during the current economic downturn. Classes were held on Facebook and led by childcare consultant and small business coach Judy Bumpus.

Problem Statement

Opportunity: Support local, home-based childcare providers, a sector struggling to survive economic downturn (an expected 40% of centers closing). This in turn supports the local workforce, particularly women (39% of global workforce) who cannot return to work without childcare.

Challenge: Reaching audience (higher rate of digital exclusion, and less access to education — contributes to crisis due to industry regulatory paperwork moving online; paperwork is tied to reimbursements from government programs and licensing).


Innovation

Finding ways to overcome the digital divide, including mandatory contact phone calls with people who register, mailing handouts and templates to increase the impact of the online classes, introducing free individual sessions with instructors to follow up on the class and collaboration with branches (making handouts available for free printouts at all info desks).

Another key element: Ensuring the content of the program was tailored to childcare providers’ specific needs (accomplished by hiring Judy Bumpus).


Progress

The first virtual program was held on July 13, and since it aired the video has had nearly 272 views. The next two programs are scheduled for October 13 and November 10, and the hope is to reach even more viewers (both live and later). In addition, Square One hopes to establish a relationship with childcare providers, continuing to offer support and cross-promoting the library’s childhood literacy resources to home-based childcare businesses in underserved communities.