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Free Child Care Business Lab Now Accepting Applicants

by Rep. Anne-Marie Mastraccio

Would you like to open a home-based child care business? Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) is now accepting applications until March 4 for their 2023 Child Care Business Lab. This is an incredible opportunity for people interested in starting their own business.

CEI will work with parents of young children who want a good job for themselves and give them the opportunity to start a home-based child care business for six to eight kids. They will help grandparents open child care businesses in order to help their adult children who are struggling to keep full-time jobs due to lack of child care. They work with nonprofit organizations with an unused room in communities short on child care options to secure space as well as with friends and relatives who decide to partner or create a cooperative child care program. The goal of the Child Care Lab is to help the very people in need of child care to not just meet that need but to also establish thriving businesses and give back to their community.

The lack of child care affects the ability of many parents in Sanford and Springvale to find and keep a job, go back to school or start a business. When parents can’t find child care, they often miss work, get fired or choose to leave the workforce all together. This is an issue that certainly impacts our city but it’s a crisis that is felt across our state and results in real economic losses for families and businesses.

If you or someone you know is interested in starting a child care business, please visit the Child Care Business Lab website here: The program takes place over a six-month period and includes a mix of in-person group, one-on-one and at-your-own-pace online training sessions. They pair you with a business advisor who will help you develop and deliver a business plan that meets your goals and that bests serves your community’s needs. The lab will also teach you how to identify and apply for special start-up child care business loans to get your business off the ground, walk you through the state licensing process and share best practices for operating a child care business. All of this is offered to participants, free of charge. If you have any questions about the program, feel free to reach out to the CEI Child Care Business Lab at

About CEI: CEI is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 community development financial institution (CDFI) founded in 1977 with a mission to build a just, vibrant and climate-resilient future for people and communities in Maine and rural regions by integrating finance, business expertise and policy solutions in ways that make the economy work more equitably.

Over the past 45 years, the CEI family of organizations has invested $1.53 billion in 3,222 businesses and projects that are changing Maine’s employment landscape and creating positive economic ripple effects in rural regions throughout the U.S.

Image by Rosy from Pixabay

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