A New Path
Lilibeth had been working an office job for several years when she became pregnant with her daughter. She knew she wanted a career transition that would give her the flexibility to be more present and hands-on as a parent. “I wanted to be able to see my daughter grow up.” She and her husband discussed the pros and cons of transitioning to the childcare business and ultimately decided to take the leap. Lilibeth left her job on maternity leave and they began to prepare their apartment and coordinate the necessary documents to begin. Lilibeth had learned firsthand about the childcare industry from her mother, who cared for children for over 30 years in their home, which gave Lilibeth the confidence to make such a drastic career change. Four months after opening their daycare, Lilibeth and her husband were already at full capacity.
Lilibeth was introduced to Accion while attending a conference for childcare providers in New York City. She received two loans from Accion, which she used for a variety of renovations, including new changing equipment, general apartment repairs to make the space more comfortable for the children, and most recently, to purchase a computer for the children to use. “The entire process with Accion was incredibly easy. We were able to receive the loans very quickly.”
Through the New York Childcare Provider Initiative, Accion is now able to offer licensed childcare providers like Lilibeth with an unprecedently quick and hassle-free lending process followed by a similarly speedy turnaround time and one-on-one guidance throughout.
The Best Kind of Gratitude
Ten years after she and her husband first opened their doors, Lilibeth now oversees three different sites: her original site, a location managed by her husband, and the location previously run by her mother, who entrusted it to her upon retiring. Lilibeth has plans to return to school so she’ll be able to open a storefront daycare center.
For Lilibeth, running her own business has allowed her the freedom and flexibility to be the engaged and attentive mother that she’s always wanted to be. “It’s allowed me to be more hands-on with my daughter in school.” She also explained that the greatest part of running her daycare is the positive responses she receives from teachers and parents once the children have moved on to school. “We are their first teachers. There’s a lot of children that don’t go to school prepared so when I get the feedback that I taught their children, to me this is my favorite part of my job. When I get those thank you notes and messages of appreciation, those are the best for me.”