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Financial Stability for Families With Young Children > Child Care as a Business Resource Guide for Program Administrators

Child Care as a Business Resource Guide for Program Administrators

A microenterprise is a business with five or fewer employees that is small enough to require initial capital of $35,000 or less. Most microenterprises are sole proprietorships, which create employment for owners and often other family members. Some grow into larger businesses, employing nonfamily members. A microenterprise can be any type of business, including child care, repair services, cleaning services, specialty foods, jewelry, arts and crafts, gifts, clothing and textiles, computer technology, and environmental products and services.1

The goal of the Child Care Bureau’s Child Care as a Business (Microenterprise) Resource Guide is to raise awareness in, and provide resources for, the child care community (i.e., Child Care and Development Fund administrators, child care resource and referral agencies, nonprofit organizations, government programs, and grantees) and microenterprise development field (i.e., microenterprise organizations and micro-lenders) about small business and asset-building opportunities for child care providers and aspiring or existing business owners. Greater focus in this area will help child care providers start or improve their businesses and economic self-sufficiency; help programs improve their services, training, and assistance to child care providers; and improve the quality and supply of child care in communities.

This resource guide is divided into four sections:

About This Resource Guide       

This resource guide was developed for the following types of organizations that wish to provide microenterprise and asset-building assistance to child care providers and business owners:

  • Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Lead Agencies;
  • Child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agencies;
  • Community action agencies;
  • Community development corporations;
  • Community development financial institutions;
  • Credit unions;
  • Loan funds;
  • Local, State, or Tribal government agencies;
  • Microenterprise organizations;
  • Nonprofit organizations, including United Way agencies and YMCAs;
  • Small business development centers;
  • Social service organizations; and
  • Women’s business centers.

This guide is geared toward programs interested in helping individuals access three valuable tools including, individual development accounts, microenterprise training and technical assistance, and microloans. The following are some examples of the ways in which program administrators can help individuals access these tools:

  • Referral of child care providers and other clients to local organizations that provide access to any of these three tools;  
  • Collaboration with local organizations to serve both clients, i.e., one organization provides child care training and related services, while another offers access to individual development accounts (IDAs), microenterprise training, and/or microloans; and
  • Establishment of an in-house IDA, microenterprise, or microloan program.

Resources developed by the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families.


1. Association for Enterprise Opportunity. (2000). Program design for microenterprise development, Issue 2. Microenterprise Fact Sheet Series. Retrieved April 8, 2010.

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