Microenterprise Development – Home-Based Child Care Initiative

Program Goal
The Microenterprise Development – Home-Based Childcare Program provides business opportunities to refugee women in a market where there is a shortage of childcare providers. Through the grant, mentors will help refugee women establish agreements or contracts with state or county child care offices so they may qualify for state/county childcare reimbursement as childcare service providers, and become successful, independent entrepreneurs.

In FY 2012, there are 13 grantees in 13 states that receive grants totaling $2.225 million.

General Background
Microenterprise development services traditionally include business technical assistance or short-term training, credit in the form of micro-loans, and, if applicable, a revolving loan fund. The programs are designed to be culturally and linguistically appropriate for the refugee population. The Microenterprise Development – Home-Based Childcare Program is a new program for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), designed to support home-based child care mentoring programs primarily for refugee women interested in providing child care services in their homes.

Refugees bring many positive attributes to the Microenterprise Development program, including a diverse and a rich array of business ideas, skills, experiences, and a strong desire to succeed. During the last two decades, refugees have started, expanded or strengthened approximately 10,800 micro-businesses, with a business survival rate of 88 percent. ORR grantees have provided about $10.03 million in financing to these entrepreneurs and the agencies have used these loans to leverage another $15.5 million in loans from other sources in the private and public sectors. The loan repayment rate is nearly 98 percent, far higher than the industry average. Additionally, almost 10,100 new jobs have been created. Over 24,000 refugees have gained new entrepreneurial skills and knowledge, and the additional business income is helping refugee families to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

Program Description
This project will teach refugee women about state and federal child care laws, regulations and licensing requirements and about American cultural norms concerning child care and child development. By encouraging refugee women to apply their new child care knowledge and skills in the job market, the project will assist refugee women in acquiring English language skills, advancing their education, learning basic financial skill, and improving their economic opportunities.

A secondary objective of the program is to expand home-based child care business options for other refugees, to enable them to enter the workforce with confidence that their children are being cared for by individuals possessing appropriate cultural competency.

Eligible Applicants
Public or private non-profit organizations are eligible for these grants.

Targeted Populations
Eligibility includes persons who meet all requirements of 45 CFR 400.43 (as amended by 65 FR 154009 (March 22, 2000).

All low-income refugees who are not citizens are eligible for services under this program. Women refugees who arrived in the U.S. within the last five years at the time of enrollment are given priority for services under this program.

Geographical Area(s)

Policy Information

  • 45 CFR 400.43
  • 65 FR 15409 (March 22, 2000)
  • 412 (c) (1) (A) of the Immigration and Nationality ACT (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1522 (c) (1) (A)

Current Grantees

Contact Information

Program Officer
Belay Embaye
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Refugee Resettlement
Division of Community Resettlement
Phone: 202.401.4978