“I just love kids! They make you smile,” exclaimed Stephane Bamigbade, owner of Little Bugs Learning Center, located in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood.
Walking into Little Bugs Learning Center, there is warmth and laughter that fills the air. With more than 28 years of childcare experience, Stephane opened her daycare to provide services to parents in an area lacking quality and affordable childcare options. “I picked this location because it is in a low income area and there are a lot of parents looking for help,” Stephane explained.
After considering a career in real estate, Stephane decided to follow her passion for education and childcare. She knew that she wanted to open her own business but didn’t quite realize all of the steps she needed to take in order to get started. After securing a space in a vacant storefront, Stephane anticipated that she would purchase equipment, build out the space, and open within a couple months. However, it ended up taking nearly a year to complete all of the requirements to be certified as a daycare center. “I didn’t know it was going to take so long,” Stephane said. “There was no income coming in and I still had to pay every month.”
The $10,000 loan she received from Accion allowed Stephane to finish the necessary tasks to prepare for the opening of her business. Since receiving her loan from Accion, Little Bugs Learning Center continues to expand through the establishment of early childhood educational opportunities like Head Start. Through this program, Stephane is able to support parents and daycare staff through training, job placement, and scholarship opportunities. Building on her success, she hopes to open a second location to serve even more parents in need of affordable and quality daycare.