The Social Development Commission (SDC) has launched its first microenterprise class of refugees aspiring to become childcare business owners and operators. SDC’s Refugee Childcare Microenterprise Development Project trains participants in business operations, financial literacy, and childcare practices.
“Training entrepreneurs to obtain a State of Wisconsin Family Child Care License and open more home-based childcare centers advances SDC’s anti-poverty mission,” explained Hannah C. Dugan, SDC’s Interim CEO. “The end result of this program is creating new businesses and future employers as well as providing desperately needed affordable child care for low-income employees and job-seekers,” Dugan added.
The project’s first training group consists of eleven women and men refugees from Iraq, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. During a recent class, Instructor Mamadou Guisse outlined accounting and record-keeping needed to satisfy State and County childcare business regulations. He showed participants tools they can use to monitor attendance, income and expenses, and other processes needed for a well-run daycare. Guisse fielded questions from the engaged students through translators who were helping participants.
Rula Ayoub, an Iraqi refugee who moved to the United States seven months ago, registered for the SDC program because she wants “to help her family become successful by starting a childcare business”. She said the coursework she and her classmates have gotten has been “terrific for us”. She stated, for example, learning for the first time about the American tax system was eye-opening for her and fellow class participants.
The microenterprise program works well for Ayoub because “I love children as well as teaching and interacting with them.” She notes that when the program classes end in mid-June, she will look at possibly opening her own licensed childcare business in her home. She added that she is recommending the program to anyone she meets as a way to become self-sufficient and contributing to the Milwaukee community.
SDC is partnering with the Multicultural Entrepreneurial Institute, the Pan African Community Association, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement on the two-year project. It is being funded by the Wisconsin Administration for Children and Families. To learn more about the Refugee Childcare Microenterprise Development Project at SDC, call 414-906-2768 or visit www.cr-sdc.org/index/Programs–Services/Refugee_Childcare_Microenterprise_Development_Project.htm.