Family childcare workers in Virginia learn business skills

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — As many childcare facilities closed their doors during the COVID-19 pandemic, DeShonda Jennings opened her family’s home daycare, DJ Shining Stars Daycare.

“I knew that all of these families needed help and that kids needed nurturing,” said Jennings, who left a comfortable job at a company to start childcare for her family.

“This is a professional business, but sometimes we’re not considered a small business because it’s run from our home,” Jennings said.

While she has received support for child development and education, to date she has never received support for running her own business.

Jennings was one of seven black-owned family-owned home childcare providers selected for Capital One’s [email protected] accelerator program. The 12-week small business program aims to help businesses stabilize and grow with assessments, workshops and learning new skills.

“We know that home-based family day care is the most common form of child care in this country, but often, as small business owners, home-based providers are the most overlooked when it comes to support,” said Toria Edmonds-Howell, community engagement manager for Das Capital One’s 1717 Innovation Center.