Santa Barbara Public Library Partners with Women’s Economic Ventures to Provide Business Classes for Childcare Providers
Many working families are using a combination of friends, family, and neighborhood caregivers to piece together care for their young children before they begin school. The pandemic has made the need for more childcare options even more pronounced. Santa Barbara Public Library (SBPL) has partnered with Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) to support these aspiring small business childcare providers. As part of an innovative, grant-funded early literacy program that focuses on providing support and building community with caregivers, SBPL and WEV collaborated over the last year to develop curriculum for a series of classes in Spanish and English to help those informal caregivers who are interested in starting their own childcare business. Classes in Spanish were offered in the Spring, and this Fall, the “Managing Your Own Childcare Business'' series is being offered in English.
Classes will be held virtually on Mondays in September from 6 - 8 p.m., beginning September 12. Participants should take all five classes. Registration is currently open for scheduled classes.
The series offers a five-week, free virtual learning opportunity for caregivers on topics related to starting a childcare business, including licensing, resources, marketing strategies, business administration, budgeting, pricing, and creating a business plan. The WEV presenter leading this series has a wealth of experience in empowering small business start ups. The series provides opportunities for caregivers to sharpen their professional skills and succeed in an industry with a well-documented need for growth in Santa Barbara.
SBPL hopes to increase the number of credentialed childcare providers in the county as well as increase the competence and confidence of existing caregivers by offering these classes. Community needs assessments have indicated that there are many informal caregiving arrangements in our community due to the shortage of affordable, licensed childcare. “Providing high-quality early literacy classes has always been a library goal, and now we are working with community partners to expand our offerings to broaden our reach and impact,” said Library Director Jessica Cadiente.
Because not everyone might have the tools and access to join virtual programs, SBPL offers laptops and WiFi hotspots that can be checked out. Anyone with a Library card can borrow an Acer Chromebook and WiFi hotspot, a Youth Services Chromebook and WiFi hotspot, or just a WiFi hotspot or Youth Services hotspot.
Funds to support this program were awarded to SBPL as part of the California State Library Shared Vision Early Learning Grants.
Santa Barbara Public Library is a department of the City of Santa Barbara. Visit the Santa Barbara Public Library online at SBPLibrary.org for information about programs and services. All library programs are free and open to the public.
About Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV), https://www.wevonline.org
Women’s Economic Ventures is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women. WEV is a business resource network for anyone looking to start a business, grow a local business, or improve their business skills. WEV provides small business training, advisory services, financial literacy programs and small business loans in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. While WEV's focus is on women, it welcomes people of all gender identities into the WEV community. Business courses, programs and loans are provided in both English and Spanish.
Since 1991, WEV has provided business training and small business advisory services to more than 19,000 people throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. WEV has made more than $6.4 million in small business loans and helped more than 5,000 local businesses start or expand, generating an estimated $770 million in annual sales and creating nearly 12,000 local jobs. WEV is a U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Center and Microlender, as well as a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).