Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation Provides Loan to Katie’s Kinder Garden Preschool and Child Care

ROCHESTER, Minn., July 9, 2015 – Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) recently approved funding from its Building Blocks Loan Program to Katie’s Kinder Garden Preschool and Child Care in Rochester to help it become a licensed family child care facility.

Katie Derby, owner and operator of Katie’s Kinder Garden Preschool and Child Care, has been caring for children since she was 12. After receiving her Master’s degree in Education and teaching preschool and kindergarten for 12 years, she decided she wanted to pursue a new avenue by opening her own child care business.

“My true passion is working with young kids and getting them school-ready,” said Derby. “Opening Katie’s Kinder Garden Preschool and Child Care will allow me to focus my energies on just that.”

Derby intends to have opportunities for music, movement, and art expression; large and fine motor skill training; a variety of sensory and dramatic play options; and basic Spanish, French, and American Sign Language exposure. Once licensed, Derby plans to pursue her Parent Aware rating, which is Minnesota’s Parent Aware Quality Rating System for child care programs. She has already attended one training through SMIF’s Quality Child Care Program, and anticipates enrolling in more. However, in order to get licensed, she will need to make some minor repairs to her home and purchase some equipment, such as outside play equipment and toys. SMIF’s loan will help cover the cost of these supplies.

SMIF’s support of Katie’s Kinder Garden Preschool and Child Care is a good example of how our technical assistance for early childhood care providers and loan capital work together. “We’re happy to be able to support dedicated child care providers like Katie with both the technical skills they need to thrive, as well as the financial resources it takes to be a small business owner,” said SMIF President and CEO, Tim Penny. “We see investments in our next generation as a good long-term economic development strategy.”

SMIF provides a range of finance and management assistance services to start and grow businesses. To learn more, call Marcia Haley at 507-455-3215 or, or visit SMIF is an equal opportunity lender. This loan was funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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