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From Dream to Daycare – the story of Play N Learn
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Raegen has been running daycare facilities in many forms since her very first in-home daycare for 12 children in 1997. Over the years, Raegen found herself continually expanding to meet the growing demand for quality childcare in the Great Falls region. But operating multiple facilities was taking Raegen away from what she loved the most – spending time with the kids. 

In 2015, Raegen came to Great Falls Development Authority (GFDA) with a vision – she wanted to consolidate into one, state-of-the art facility. The only problem – she needed $2 million dollars. Fearing her dream might never become reality, the team at Great Falls Development Authority got to work. 
Together with First Interstate Bank, GFDA was able to secure an SBA 504 loan for Raegen with a low, fixed interest rate, and only 10% down. But it didn’t stop there. GFDA was able to secure $30,000 in Brownfield funding to help Raegen address environmental issues on her property – a critical step to receiving financing for most businesses. Not to mention the 150+ hours of no-cost advising services from GFDA’s Small Business Development Center.

Now, Play N Learn is the largest preschool and daycare in the region, and recognized by Montana DPHHS’ STARS Program as one of only two Level 4 Facilities in Northcentral Montana serving over 170 families.
Our mantra is simple – we help excellent entrepreneurs and would-be-entrepreneurs like Raegen, and bring all of our resources to the table with every client. Your success is our success, is the Great Falls Region’s success.

Let's get to work!

  1. Call Jolene at 406.750.4481 to get connected
  2. Discuss your project with a member of our team of business experts
  3. Get the resources you need to survive and thrive
  4. Revel in your success!



JOLENE SCHALPER
Senior Vice President
Great Falls Development Authority
1.406.750.4481
Vision
Hungry to Grow the Great Falls region

Mission
Grow and diversify the Great Falls regional economy.
Create higher wage career opportunities.
Improve market competitiveness.                
 
The first economic development organization in the Rocky Mountain West to earn accreditation from the International Economic Development Council.

GFDA is a certified Community Development Financial Institution and a 501(c)3 charitable organization. High Plains Financial is a certified Community Development Corporation that offers SBA 504 loans statewide. GFDA and High Plains Financial are Equal Opportunity Employers and Lenders.

GFDA is proud to host a Montana Small Business Development Center, a Montana Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and a Montana Food & Ag Development Center. We are also proud to provide office space for MSU's Montana Manufacturing Extension Center.

For more info, click to our website.