PHILADELPHIA (August 31, 2021) – Reinvestment Fund celebrates the graduation of the first cohort of 15 financial professionals from its Train the Trainer (TTT) program dedicated to the early childhood education (ECE) community. The eight-week program provides a comprehensive understanding of the nuances of the ECE sector and prepares financial professionals to serve as coaches to providers seeking to strengthen their business operations. TTT is an initiative of Reinvestment Fund, with funding from the William Penn Foundation, to support Philadelphia ECE providers by increasing their financial capabilities and positioning them for stability and growth.
Prior to COVID-19, the financial positions of childcare operators were often precarious, and the public health crisis has only magnified the need for more robust and effective support to the sector. To successfully provide quality early learning, providers must know how to make the best financial decisions for their business to remain sustainable.
“Many early learning providers start out with little or no support on starting a new business and as a result don’t have systems in place to analyze their income and expenses so they can maximize their profits,” said Desmond Hudson, Reinvestment Fund’s Program Manager for TTT. “This practice hinders their income potential and can also affect the quality of care. A stronger understanding of their finances will not only give providers opportunity for growth but also enhance the learning experience of the child.”
ECE providers face particular challenges related to the nuances of blending and reporting on multiple funding sources, which can affect a provider’s financial management. The program is designed to help providers address these challenges.
The TTT program provides interventions around business support and financial training that meet the unique needs of each individual operator. Graduates from the training program will now move to a second phase, where they are matched with a local early childhood education provider for 12 months to provide coaching to develop more efficient business practices.
“The eight-week immersion program provided insight into the business of early childhood education—from the regulations to funding to operations,” said Nathanial Dixon, a financial professional with 20 years of financial services experience. “I now feel equipped to be a trusted advisor and quarterback to early care professionals. I want to empower ECE directors and staff with confidence and comfort in growing their business with a financial blueprint and structure that is efficient and sustainable.”
The program partnered with Better Futures to develop and deliver training modules on a variety of topics over the summer. With the training complete, graduates move to a second phase where each coach will work with a provider on setting goals, assessing financial health, calculating the cost of care, tax planning and more. Coaches will also work with providers to develop business plans under the guidance of Better Futures. Better Futures also offers a library of on-demand classes accessible on its online platform called CRAFT. As part of its ongoing partnership, Reinvestment Fund is also offering select ECE providers membership to the CRAFT platform.
“I jumped at this opportunity to partner with the early learning sector, which is invaluable to our communities,” shared TaLisa Jones-Smith, who just completed the 8-week training as a financial coach. “The training really helped me understand a variety of resources that would be instrumental to helping providers build their business and become sustainable.”
This unique program will give early childhood education providers the ability to receive support with daily financial activities from the coach, yet still understand and feel confident in their ability to appropriately assess and make informed decisions. The coaches will ultimately be part of a shared platform of services available to early learning providers across Philadelphia.
About Reinvestment Fund
Reinvestment Fund is a mission-driven financial institution committed to making communities work for all people. We bring financial and analytical tools to partnerships that work to ensure that everyone has access to essential opportunities: affordable places to live, access to nutritious food and health care, schools where their children can flourish, and strong, local businesses that support jobs. We use data to understand markets, communities, and impediments to opportunity—and how investment and policy decisions can have the most powerful impact. Since our inception in 1985, Reinvestment Fund has provided over $2.4 billion in financing to strengthen neighborhoods, scale social enterprises, and build resilient communities. Learn more at reinvestment.com.