Marquette County Childcare Coalition announces launch of Childcare SPARK

MARQUETTE — The Marquette County Childcare Coalition has announced the launch of Childcare SPARK.

According to a Lake Superior Community Partnership press release, Childcare SPARK is an innovative, first-of-its-kind program designed to assist individuals who are interested in starting an in-home child care business.

“Focusing on in-home (providers) allows us to spread the slots across the county, placing them closer to where people live. In-home has a lower start-up cost and in-home businesses provide an opportunity for families to generate additional income using an existing asset: their home,” LSCP CEO Christopher Germain said in a press release. “In addition, having more child care slots available will support the business community by allowing parents currently lacking child care options to rejoin the workforce.”

Childcare SPARK is inviting Marquette County homeowners who are passionate about early childhood development and interested in starting a home-based business to apply to be part of the new pilot program. Participants will be supported throughout the process of becoming licensed in-home child care providers, guided by business development professionals, local child care operators and early childhood development organizations.

According to the press release, the program aims to successfully establish new in-home child care businesses throughout Marquette County to help families find the care they need to remain or re-enter the workforce.

“The Childcare SPARK program teaches child care providers the specific requirements to open home-based and family child care centers, along with the business and financial skills necessary to maintain and grow their businesses,” Community Foundation of Marquette County CEO Zosia Eppensteiner said in the press release. “This accelerator will empower early childhood providers to grow their confidence and skills around the business of early childhood education in an approachable and community-focused way.”

Applications will be accepted until April 7 with classes beginning on May 2.

Childcare SPARK was developed by the Community Foundation of Marquette County, Great Start to Quality, Lake Superior Community Partnership, Marquette-Alger RESA and Regionerate.

According to the press release, since last January, the Marquette County Childcare Coalition has been engaged in discussions to address the significant need for child care and possible solutions. The coalition includes representatives from the community, local government as well as nonprofit and economic development organizations.

To learn about eligibility requirements and to apply, visit childcarespark.com.

For more information, contact LSCP at 906-226-6591 or visit online at marquette.org.


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