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Idaho Child Learning Center Able to Move Expansion Plans Forward with CDFI Support

Financial and Social Impact

  • Childcare resource sustained for essential workers through pandemic
  • 5 jobs created and 13.5 retained
  • 60 students served
  • Capacity for 80 students in new building

Client: Mia Barron, owner of A Child’s Heart Learning Center & Nursery, LLC
Client location: Boise, ID
CDFI: MoFi
CDFI service area: Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
CDFI services provided: Financing and technical assistance, with support from the Grow with Google Small Business Fund

Before COVID-19 reached Idaho, demand consistently exceeded capacity at A Child’s Heart Learning Center & Nursery. The business had just gone under contract to expand and purchase the building next door when, almost overnight, owner Mia Barron watched enrollment plummet. She knew she couldn’t expect monthly tuition from families that weren’t using her services, but she needed to continue serving the children who remained — children of nurses, postal service workers, nonprofit employees, and other essential workers in Boise.

To keep her doors open while renovating the new location, Mia applied for a loan from her bank but lacked the collateral she needed to qualify. She then turned to MoFi for help, receiving a PPP loan and later an SBA Community Advantage Recovery Loan for working capital. MoFi also worked with Mia to help her manage cash flow, reduce expenses, plan for the unexpected, and navigate small business relief programs. With financing and a strong technical assistance plan in place, Mia is now able to support her 60 students, a third of whom are participating in virtual schooling programs. Her new building will have capacity for 80 children – infants to age 12 – and feature an expanded preschool program, virtual learning support, a summer camp, and before- and after-school programs with transportation options to and from local schools.

“It’s one thing when you have dreams, but then when you really hit the ground and the rubber meets the road, it’s really hard,” said Mia. “And without the financing, it just doesn’t happen. So we’re really grateful that the [MoFi] loan was available and it all worked out. It couldn’t have been more perfect. [MoFi] is on my team.”


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