Childcare Program Announces Second Cohort, Rockingham County Joins

The City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, along with partner agencies the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SV SBDC) and Early Education Business Consultants, are providing a second round of special training and personalized assistance for local childcare providers and aspiring childcare providers. Free information sessions will be held February 28, March 12, and March 27, all at 6:00pm in Council Chambers, Harrisonburg City Hall, 409 S Main St, Harrisonburg. Harrisonburg or Rockingham County childcare providers and those wishing to become a childcare provider will be able to learn more about free support and potential funding for their services.

Participants are encouraged to register in advance at http://tinyurl.com/yc72eafc. The goal of the effort is to provide participants with the tools and support they need to start, grow, and succeed as a childcare provider.

“Childcare services are a critical foundational aspect of our local economies. We are thrilled to be working with the City of Harrisonburg, and now Rockingham County, to provide targeted resources for existing businesses and individuals interested in starting an in-home or center-based business. In turn, we expect that developing new and improved options for working families in our region will be a boost for other industries as well,” said SV SBDC Director Allison Dugan.

The first round of the program kicked off in late 2023 for childcare businesses or prospective business owners located in the City of Harrisonburg. Responding to community feedback about a local shortage of childcare providers, Harrisonburg City Council set aside federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to be used toward supporting childcare programs in the community. Participants located in the City of Harrisonburg who complete the program and can demonstrate they have increased childcare spaces in their home or center may be eligible for ARPA grant funding from the City.

Rockingham County Board of Supervisors voted in mid-February 2024 to support the participation of existing or proposed childcare businesses located in Rockingham County in the training and personalized advising portion of the program.

More information on the program is available at https://www.valleysbdc.org/pathway-to-success-childcare-business/.