MyVillage Offers Coronavirus Relief to Child Care Providers, Parents
BOZEMAN, Mont. (March 18, 2020) — A startup founded by two moms on a mission to reimagine child care in America announced today that it has raised emergency grant funding from impact investors to ensure that child care providers in its network can continue to educate young children into April. The goal of the funding is to minimize disruptions to educator income and help parents manage the cost incurred during a COVID-19-related exposure or absence.
“Early childhood educators are on the front lines as first responders to the pandemic right now,” said co-founder and CEO Erica Mackey, noting that all MyVillage educators follow strict CDC guidelines around whether or not to stay open. “As small business owners, many MyVillage educators cannot access paid sick leave or other emergency support, so we wanted to step up to help them mitigate the impact on their business while staying healthy and serving the communities that need them.”
MyVillage helps people become licensed, home-based early childhood educators. The company’s small programs adhere to clear quality standards that parents can count on. The mom-founded company has contracted with more than 120 home-based educators—all of them women and most of them mothers—and more than 60 MyVillage programs are open in Montana and Colorado.
Amanda Hazlett owns and operates Ms. Amanda’s Village from a church in Townsend, Montana, population 2,045. She is taking up to three additional children who lack child care in light of Montana’s schools closing earlier this week.
“I feel called to do everything I can for my community during this scary time,” Hazlett said. “Having the support and certainty that I'll meet my financial projections means the world to me and my family.”
“We’ve been amazed at how motivated our educators are to stay open in the face of large child care centers and schools closing,” said Mackey. “They realize parents need to be productive while they work from home, and they especially want to support those working in health care fields right now. At MyVillage, we truly believe we raise each other.”
Rebecca Bergstrom owns and operates Ms. Becca's Village from her home in Aurora, just outside of Denver. She is taking on additional children in light of child care centers closing, and school being canceled.
"I believe early childhood educators truly are the first responders," Bergstrom said. "It's an honor to have the confidence and support of MyVillage behind me as I take care of the children of essential health care workers and others who are impacted by coronavirus. It's going to take a village to get through this pandemic, and I'm inspired to see MyVillage leading the way and to be able to play a role in that."
“Innovative solutions like that of MyVillage are a testament to the real-life community they have built that includes parents, educators, and kids,” said Catherine Casey Nanda, Director of Acumen America, one of MyVillage’s investors. “Companies like this are essential in the absence of universal child care, and we hope this model will inspire the public sector to take action to help home-based programs scale quickly.”