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Microenterprise Development – Home-Based Childcare Program

Published: May 10, 2012

Program Goal

The Microenterprise Development – Home-Based Childcare Program provides business opportunities to refugee women, focusing on childcare mentoring programs that will facilitate their integration into U.S. cultural norms and State Childcare requirements, 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 in a manner that is 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 which is far higher than the average repayment rate in the industry. 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 (e.g., attainment of General Education Diploma (G.E.D.)), 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.

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 US 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)


MED-HBCC International Rescue Committee, Inc. Phoenix  AZ  9/29/2013 $175,000.00 Kay Bellor  212-551-2728
MED-HBCC International Institute of Los Angeles Los Angeles  CA  9/29/2013 $175,000.00 E.Stephen  323-224-3800
MED-HBCC Catholic Charities, Inc., Archdiocese of Hartford Hartford  CT  9/29/2013 $175,000.00 Rose Alma Senatore 860-493-1841
MED-HBCC Mountain States Group, Inc. Boise  ID  9/29/2013 $175,000.00 Ron Berning 208-336-5533
MED-HBCC Community Action of Northeast Indiana, Inc.  Fort Wayne  IN  9/29/2013  $135,000.00 Pamela E. Brookshire  260-423-3546
MED-HBCC International Institute of Boston Lowell  MA  9/29/2013 $175,000.00 Carolyn Benedict-Drew  617-695-9900
MED-HBCC Catholic Charities, Inc., Diocese of Lansing Lansing  MI  9/29/2013 $175,000.00 Andra E. Seyka 517-323-4734
MED-HBCC Resources for Child Caring St. Paul  MN  9/29/2013 $175,000.00 Barbara Yates 651-641-6645
MED-HBCC International Institute of Metropolitan St. Louis St. Louis  MO  9/29/2013 $175,000.00 Anna Crosslin 314-773-9090
MED-HBCC Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization Portland  OR  9/29/2013 $175,000.00 Sokhom Tauch 503-234-1541
MED-HBCC Women's Opportunities Resource Center Philadelphia  PA  9/29/2013 $165,000.00 Lynne Cutler  215-564-5500
MED-HBCC Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota Sioux Falls  SD  9/29/2013 $175,000.00 Rebecca K.Knudsen  605-731-2015
MED-HBCC Catholic Charities, Inc., Diocese of Olympia Seattle  WA  9/29/2013 $175,000.00 Greg Hope 206-323-3152

Contact Information

Program Officer
Belay Embaye
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Refugee Resettlement
Division of Community Resettlement
Phone: (202) 401-4978
Email: belay.embaye@acf.hhs.gov