Early Advantage Bilingual Daycare
Judette Mondesir has known for a long time that she wanted to open a childcare facility, but it took many years of perseverance and for her to realize her goal. She immigrated to the Columbus area from Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1996. Judette was able to begin taking nutrition and childcare courses at Columbus State Community College and the Ohio State University, but still faced the obstacles commonly encountered by those seeking to start their first business – limited access to capital and business training. A friend let her know about Economic and Community Development Institute and she quickly enrolled in the Individual Development Account (IDA) program for microenterprise development. “They told me, ‘There is a company that can help you’, and then I came to ECDI”, said Judette.
Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) are “matched savings accounts that enable low-income American families to save, build assets, and enter the financial mainstream. IDAs reward the monthly savings of working-poor families who are building towards purchasing an asset - most commonly buying their first home, paying for post-secondary education, or starting a small business.” (www.cfed.org) While saving money to reach her goal, Judette was able to take courses in Financial Literacy and Microenterprise Development though ECDI’s training program, as well as a specialized training course for home-based childcare businesses. This course is offered as a supplemental class to ECDI's general Microenterprise Development Training, addressing the additional certifications, financial planning, and paperwork involved with starting and maintaining a home-based daycare. Participants like Judette are guided through the business planning process, state guidelines and regulations for home-based day cares, and are directed in the development of a contract and other necessary forms. Furthermore, class participants are connected to governmental resources for their business, including information regarding state licensing. Safety is paramount in operating a successful childcare business. “This is the key for parents to know that the kids are safe,” Judette said of ECDI training.
After reaching her savings goal for her microenterprise development IDA, Early Advantage Bilingual Daycare opened its doors in Judette’s Hilliard home in January 2010. The daycare has a music and language emphasis, with Judette’s daughter teaching piano while Judette instructs children in both French and English. “When they learn early, it is easier,” she said of her daycare’s focus.
Eventually, she hopes to open a childcare center which would allow her to increase enrollment and reach more Columbus-area children with the gift of music and language.