Community Development Block Grant
Success Stories

Spokane, WA - Mayor John Talbott

Family Child Care H.O.M.E. Project

The Family Child Care Hands-On Model Environment (H.O.M.E.) is a collaborative effort of the Nevada Lidgerwood Community Development Neighborhood, Holy Family Hospital, Washington State Licensing Agencies, the Health Improvement Partnership, Northwest Regional Facilitators, and existing day care providers. It was created to address the growing need for child care in the Nevada Lidgerwood neighborhood and in the City of Spokane overall.

The Project provides quality child care for low-income families in the neighborhood, orientation and training for child care providers, and a business incubation center for new family child care businesses - the only operating family child care lab school in the country. Project goals include a reduction in the turnover rate of child care provider businesses, an increase in the number of providers that are accredited by the National Family Child Care Association, and an increase in the number of neighborhood pre-schoolers ready for kindergarten.

With the help of a $15,000 CDBG grant, a tri-plex in the neighborhood was remodeled into a family child care home which meets State licensing requirements and also serves as a residence for a low-income child care provider. Along with accessibility improvements and fencing, a one-way window into the child care area allows potential providers to observe an operating child care business.

In addition to providing child care, the building serves as a city-wide resource center for provider licensing orientation and child development training, business plan assistance, student observation and education, and parent observation. A loan fund, administered with $15,000 in CDBG funds, offers low-interest rehabilitation loans to qualified low-income homeowners wishing to participate in the training program and become licensed day care owner/operators. Day care providers also have access to a resource library equipped with toys, books, start-up supplies, videos and child-centered learning materials.

Prior to the opening of the H.O.M.E. Project facility in 1997, there were 12 registered day care providers operating in the Nevada Lidgerwood neighborhood. In the year following, that number increased to 19. During the first eight months of operation, over 150 participants completed training, three child care providers were trained as instructors and five providers were offered scholarships to Spokane Falls Community College for the study of early childhood education. Of the 334 participants who completed six-hour orientations, 87 percent indicated that they intended to become licensed - and 34 percent were licensed by August 1998.

The H.O.M.E. facility currently enrolls 12 children from low-income households; the parents in half of the households are employees of nearby Holy Family Hospital.

Contact: Mike Adolfae, Director, Community Development Department, (509) 625-6325

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