The Huntington Bank Foundation has awarded the Indy Chamber’s Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) a $25,000 planning grant. “The Village” project concept is to develop a comprehensive, scalable plan that makes quality, home-based child care accessible and available in low-to-moderate income (LMI) neighborhoods in Marion County with emphasis on partnerships with anchor institutions.
BOI’s “The Village” initiative will help early learning providers with business operations – cash flow management and other issues – while working with key, child-care focused organizations to ensure they also meet Indiana’s early learning foundations. This neighborhood stabilization strategy of expanding reliable, affordable and available childcare aims to spur economic development.
Access to reliable, affordable and quality child care options is a crucial resource for working parents, and a necessary component of a healthy community. In many of Indy’s underserved communities, the availability of quality care is often limited, and unreliable childcare negatively affects employment. At the same time, the cost of child care is rising for many of these communities. Though tuition supports like Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) and On My Way PreK (OMW PreK) vouchers help families, particularly large families, obtaining these supports can take time and are also limited.
“State and local policymakers are making smart investments in our future, by focusing on child care access and affordability,” said John Corbin, Regional President of Huntington Bank. “But early childhood education programs only work if there are enough quality childcare providers up and running to serve eligible families…the Indy Chamber is helping address this issue with hands-on business coaching and capacity building strategies.”
Since 2014, The Indy Chamber’s Business Ownership Initiative has partnered with United Way to provide business coaching to child care providers through United Way’s child care Quality Improvement Project. “The Village” initiative is an opportunity for the Indy Chamber to continue supporting the efforts of United Way, while also using BOI's industry expertise to build new strategies for economic development.
“We need more convenient, high-quality child care centers serving neighborhoods and families across the core of our city,” said Michael Huber, President and CEO of the Indy Chamber. “We aren’t early learning experts; the state has detailed ‘Pathways to Quality’ standards and actively works with support organizations to help local programs qualify,” Huber continued. “But with the generosity of partners like Huntington Bank, BOI can help home-based childcare providers be effective business owners and educators – to keep serving families, they have to keep a positive balance sheet.”
The Huntington planning grant will support operating, administrative and marketing expenses for The Village initiative, which leverages entrepreneurial services already provided by BOI and the Chamber. The Village will:
“Quality and affordable childcare is a basic step towards a more inclusive economy – helping families of all socioeconomic backgrounds prepare for success in school and life,” said Huber. “The Village partnership will ensure that Indianapolis families have reliable options, offered by well-run programs on solid financial footing.”
The $25,000 grant from the Huntington Bank Foundation was announced and presented today at the Indy Chamber’s Board of Directors meeting at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Chamber’s Entrepreneur Services Division includes BOI and the Central Indiana Women’s Business Center. Federal data shows that at least two-thirds of the nation’s childcare and preschool establishments are women-owned, and The Village will likely spur new opportunities for women-owned business growth.
“The Village initiative is about creating opportunity where it’s traditionally been limited,” said Carrie Henderson, the Chamber’s Vice-President of Entrepreneur Services and President of BOI. “Affordable early learning opportunities for more families, accessible childcare to support stable employment, business opportunities that tend to attract female entrepreneurs, and bringing these economic and educational opportunities together in high-need neighborhoods.”
Henderson will oversee the Village as President of BOI, building on the Chamber’s existing partnerships with the United Way of Central Indiana and other community groups. The Chamber’s Entrepreneur Services division, anchored by BOI, provided nearly 5,000 hours of free business coaching, roughly a half-billion dollars in microlending support and contributed to the launch of more than 110 new local companies last year.
Huntington Bancshares Incorporated is a regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, with $105 billion of assets and a network of 968 branches and 1,831 ATMs across eight Midwestern states. Founded in 1866, The Huntington National Bank and its affiliates provide consumer, small business, commercial, treasury management, wealth management, brokerage, trust, and insurance services. Huntington also provides auto dealer, equipment finance, national settlement and capital marketservices that extend beyond its core states. Visit huntington.com for more information.