The Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads (SBDC) celebrated the graduation of 16 early childhood education centers from the cities of Norfolk and Chesapeake on their completion of the intensive Early Education Small Business Mentoring Program. The program, spearheaded by SBDC Business Analyst Lauren Small, is designed to assist childcare centers in improving profitability, increasing enrollment and adopting best business so that they can focus on providing high quality education.
The Chesapeake graduation was held on September 25 in South Norfolk with a special visit from Mayor Alan Krasnoff. Steven Wright, Director of Chesapeake Economic Development, was the keynote speaker and explained the importance of early education to the economic vitality of Chesapeake. The eight childcare centers participating is this program saw an average increase of 13% in enrollment with more than 600 children impacted by these centers. Centers included Growing Station Preschool, Children’s Harbor, New Rose of Sharon Christian Learning Center, Centerville Baptist Preschool, A World of Children Preschool, Creative World and Western Branch Academy.
On September 26, the Norfolk graduation was held at the Small Business Development Center’s office located within the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce in Norfolk. Special guest, Darrell Hill, Norfolk Assistant City Manager, spoke of the city’s commitment and support to their early education providers. These eight participating child care centers impacted more than 500 children with an average increase of 29% in enrollment. Centers included Parkdale Preschool & Daycare, Building Blocks Preschool, Happy Daycare, Norfolk State University Child Development Lab, Fast Track Learning Center, Angel’s Place Daycare, Curious Kat Child Development Center and Cherry Berries Learning Center and Christian Child Care.
Since 2009, the Small Business Development Center Early Education Small Business Program has given assistance to 52 centers through innovative partnerships with the cities of Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Chesapeake, and Norfolk and a grant from Smart Beginnings South Hampton Roads.