A micro-center is a network of one classroom child care ‘centers’ located in an existing school, hospital, office building, or community center with funding support from business investors, grants, and public subsidies. Micro-centers are staffed by highly qualified early childhood educators who may be facing barriers in operating out of their homes or lacking the capitol to open their own center; businesses with employees who struggle to find high quality affordable childcare may consider partnering with businesses located in a similar area with like needs.
Micro-Centers are generally managed by a “Hub” that has experience managing child care centers of varying sizes. These “Hubs” are responsible for hiring qualified teachers, training, enrollment, fee collection and grant management, and meeting licensing standards, among other responsibilities. This model can help keep initial costs down by using multiple funding streams, donated space and supplies, and by partnering with an existing organization that is well versed in managing early childhood education center.
Micro-centers are an excellent option for businesses whose employees have a need for childcare but do not want to foot the entire bill themselves; partnerships formed with the local school district, building owners, and other like-minded business owners will help get a project like this off the ground. Businesses can get involved with the opening of a micro-center by opening up space in their commercial buildings, collaborating with other local business owners to pool funding, and advocating for change at the local and state level.