FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2021
MEDIA CONTACT: Scott Pedowitz
Government Affairs Director advocacy@arlingtonchamber.org
(703) 525-2400 ext. 203
Early Childhood Financial Resiliency Accelerator Completes First Cohort in Arlington
Program teaches business and financial skills to child care providers to help maintain and grow their businesses
ARLINGTON, Va.The Arlington Chamber of Commerce and 20 Degrees recently completed the first Arlington, Virginia-based cohort of the Early Childhood Education Financial Resiliency Accelerator. The program focuses on teaching child care providers the business and financial technical skills necessary to maintain and to grow their businesses, and on building a community of practice amongst care providers. Participants received cohort-based training and individual coaching sessions leading to customized action plans.

The cohort comprised 23 Arlington-based child care providers, including 16 home-based providers and seven child care centers, and consisted of three group training sessions and one individual coaching session for each provider in November 2021. The program was available at no cost to the participants thanks to support from Presenting Sponsor Amazon as well as the PNC Foundation. The providers received $150 upon completing the program as a recognition of their investment in providing early childhood education in Arlington.

“This is the type of community impact that we strive for,” said Kate Bates, Arlington Chamber President & CEO. “One participant said that they had never discussed this very important aspect of their business with anyone before. We will be working hard to continue this important initiative.”

"This accelerator did what we hoped it would—empower early childhood providers to grow their confidence and acumen around the business of early childhood education in an approachable and community-focused way,” said Sara Gibson, 20 Degrees Co-Founder & CEO. “Our team was honored for the opportunity to work alongside such an essential part of the small business and community ecosystem and leaves even more hopeful and inspired."

Following the program, 73% of cohort participants said that they felt more comfortable with the financial position of their center in the next six months than they did before participating. The program focused on topics including marketing, scenario planning, budgeting, and cash flow management. Helping early childhood education providers to sustain their businesses is a major goal of the program, and 68% feel more comfortable thinking about their program’s finances across the next 12-24 months because of what they learned. By contrast, only 29% of participants felt comfortable with their center’s finances before participating in the cohort.

“I did not know about how to manage budgets, but once I took the class I am very satisfied with what I learned,” said one home-based child care provider who participated in the cohort. “I really appreciated the one-on-one attention. It was very helpful and touching.”

Building a community of practice is also a key component of the Early Childhood Education Financial Resiliency Accelerator. The cohort model, with fewer than 25 participants in each cohort and heavy use of break-out, small-group conversations during the training sessions, helps providers build community. 83% of cohort participants said that they feel more connected to other providers in the Early Childhood Education community because of their participation in the program.

Many early childhood education providers feel that they lack the business and financial know-how to grow their centers. Prior to the recent cohort, only half of participants said that they felt that they had the information about cash and finances that they needed to make decisions about future staffing and programming at their centers. By helping early childhood education providers feel more confident in their businesses, the Early Childhood Education Financial Resiliency Accelerator helps to maintain and grow child care slots, of which Arlington needs more to meet the demand from residents and the workforce.
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ABOUT THE CHAMBER
Founded in 1924, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit membership organization of approximately 700 businesses committed to strengthening businesses and the economic environment for those who work, live, and do business in Arlington. The Chamber supports our members through networking, advocacy, professional development, and community engagement. For more information or to become a member, visit www.arlingtonchamber.org.
ABOUT 20 DEGREES
20 Degrees helps child care providers, nonprofits and social enterprises unlock revenue for social innovation. 20 Degrees focuses relentlessly on building financial resiliency, growing revenue and accessing capital for clients, helping organizations take charge of their future. 20 Degrees is based in Washington, D.C. and supports organizations across the United States. For more information, visit 20degs.com.
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