Maritza Barios de Argueta

My First Steps Daycare

Chicago, Illinois


After I moved to Chicago from Guatemala, I worked in several daycare centers, getting experience for the day when I could open my own center. Three years ago I started My First Steps Daycare with one child and one bed.  Today we have seven beds. My daughter and another employee work with me, and we care for nine children altogether.


We are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., which makes for long days. The growing number of children meant that it was time to move them from my living room to their own separate space. When I needed funds to expand, I called Accion. My $10,000 loan from Accion helped me reach my goal of having a safe and beautiful part of the house designed just for my kids. This completed the first part of my dream. My next phase is to be able to care for 15 children.