LAMBERTON, Minn. — Makayla Fullerton has opened Makayla’s Daycare in Lamberton with help from Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF) Bright Beginnings loan program. Her family-based child care is licensed for up to 10 children, from infants to school age kids.
Fullerton, who is a 2018 graduate of Red Rock Central High School, has enjoyed caring for children since she was a teenager, so much so she wanted to make a career out of it.
“The thing I enjoy most about caring for kids is watching them grow up and watching the new things they learn, and then using what they learn in their daily activities,” Fullerton said. “It’s amazing how fast kids grow and pick up new things!”
There is a need for child care slots in the community, even with three other licensed family-based providers in Lamberton. Child care is in high demand across southwest Minnesota, with an estimated 3,000 kids who lack access to quality, affordable care according to a report by the Center for Rural Policy and Development. Bright Beginnings provides capital and business education to home or center-based licensed child care providers in the region.
Bright Beginnings loans up to $15,000 are available for things including licensing, curriculum, playground equipment, educational toys and materials, repairs, upgrades, start-up or expansion expenses and more. Fullerton used the financing to purchase equipment.
“Even as many things have shifted in response to the pandemic, child care continues to be a critical community need,” said SWIF Economic Development Officer Jackie Turner. “We’re excited to see Makayla open this small business in Lamberton to help care for kids.”
Loan programs have been a key function of SWIF since its inception to support communities and businesses throughout southwest Minnesota. In 2001, microlending was added to existing programs as a tool to support small businesses and people looking for self-employment opportunities.
Microloan clients receive free technical assistance from SWIF staff to improve their business management skills. Areas of support include business planning and financials analysis, QuickBooks training, marketing assistance and other training opportunities for the life of the loan.
This microloan program receives funding assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, contact SWIF at 800-594-9480, 320-587-4848 or [email protected].
About Southwest Initiative Foundation
Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) is a nonprofit community foundation connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities to create a southwest Minnesota where all people thrive. Since its founding in 1986, SWIF has distributed more than $88 million through its grantmaking and business finance programs.