First Children's Finance


June 2024 | Q1


Welcome to our new e-newsletter, your source for the latest updates and insights from our organization focused on early education and the business of child care nationwide. As a leading nonprofit organization that provides loans and business development assistance to child care businesses, we're thrilled to share this new platform with you, our valued community of entrepreneurs, supporters, and families. 

In this regular publication, you'll find in-depth looks at the innovative initiatives we're spearheading, the inspiring stories of the child care providers and communities we serve, and the important progress we're making to grow the supply of and increase access to quality early childhood education nationwide. 

We're passionate about our mission, and we're eager to share it with you through this relaunched channel - offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse into our organization, celebrating our milestones and achievements, and outlining our vision for the future as we continue to innovate and lead the way in supporting child care businesses. So settle in, get ready to be inspired, and welcome to the first edition of our updated newsletter — your window into the life-changing impact we're making in communities across the country.

In Case You Missed It!

Collaboratory Brings Tribal Nations Together to Share & Problem-solve

In March 2024, First Children’s Finance (FCF) convened ECE representatives from 10 Tribal nations for two days of learning and connection in Minneapolis, MN. Using FCF’s ECE Business Ecosystem tool, participants mapped and analyzed the many Tribal, state, and federal policies and programs that impact their child care supply and developed priorities for local and systems change.  

Watch the recap video above to see how this inspiring event impacted participants.


New Ulm Boosts Child Care Supply With Innovative Model 

Faced with a child care supply shortage in New Ulm, Minnesota — providers, community members, and city officials worked with First Children’s Finance to envision and fund a child care facility that houses four family child care providers. The solution gives the community potentially 48 new child care slots. Listen as Heather Bregel, Economic Development Director New Ulm, explains how this special family child care project works.  

Act 76 Creates a Brighter Future for Child are in Vermont

In 2023, just months after First Children’s Finance established its Vermont office, Vermont passed Act 76, which significantly invested in Vermont's child care system by supporting providers and families.

First Children’s Finance’s work has been instrumental in helping child care businesses navigate the new law and opportunities in Vermont. Here’s how a rural child care program benefitted from Act 76 and support from First Children’s Finance.  

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FCF Iowa Celebrates 15 Years of Supporting Child Care Businesses &, Communities! 

In early May, First Children’s Finance (FCF) celebrated 15 years of supporting early childhood entrepreneurs and growing the small business landscape throughout Iowa! FCF Iowa and Central Office staff joined with FCF board members, business and financial leaders, child care advocates, and supporters of Iowa's child care sector to hear speakers from around the state speak about successes as well as the future of child care in Iowa — and FCF’s role in that plan. 

2023 Minnesota Child Care Cost Modeling Report

In Fall 2023, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) released the 2023 Minnesota Child Care Cost Modeling Report, completed by First Children’s Finance. This report calculates how costs for providing care vary based on the age of children served, geographic location, license type, and quality of care.

DHS will use the study to explore new approaches to setting Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) payment rates. This study predates the 2023 legislative directives to develop potential plans to set CCAP rates using the cost model. This study serves as a foundation for future iterations of the cost model, which will be updated and adapted to meet this directive. 

FCF developed this cost model for the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The model estimates the average cost of care for children and how these costs vary based on the age, geographic location, license type, and quality of care, of the children served.

Cost of Care Study
Read the Report

FCF Loan Fund Helps Michigan Center Open Its Doors 

Alexus Yancey-Duncan was preparing to open the doors on her child care center in Warren, MI, when a 6-month delay with City approval for fencing on the property put things on hold. Read how the FCF Loan Fund helped her with expenses and working capital until the center opened in February 2024. 

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More Than 37 Wisconsin Communities Benefit from FCF Involvement 

Over the past 2 years, First Children's Finance has worked with over 37 communities and 400 providers in Wisconsin to support their ongoing work aimed at increasing the supply and sustainability of child care. This work has invested over $10 million to directly support the Wisconsin child care industry through the Dream Up! Child Care Supply Building program. 

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Upcoming FCF Trainings - Important Dates

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First Children’s Finance offers online training opportunities in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, and Vermont

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FCF in the News

Maple Lake (MN) Breaks Ground on New Center with FCF’s Support 

New business breaks ground Lucky Charms Childcare to open in Maple Lake | Maple Lake Messenger

Lil Sunshine Child Care Center to Lift Vermont Community 

Blog: New Child Care Center Downtown ( 

Alcona County (MI) Works with FCF to Add Child Care Slots  

Storm Lake (IA) Purchases Land for Center Based on FCF Study Results  

Provider Resources

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