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Marquette County Childcare Coalition Announces Launch of Childcare SPARK

U.P. Perspectives
March 28, 2023 7:00 AM


Now Accepting Applications for Home-based Childcare Business Pilot   

MARQUETTE COUNTY, MI – The Marquette County Childcare Coalition is pleased to announce the launch of Childcare SPARK, an innovative, first-of-its-kind program designed to assist individuals who are interested in starting an in-home childcare business. Childcare SPARK invites Marquette County homeowners who are passionate about early childhood development and interested in starting a home-based business to apply to be a part of the new pilot program.  

Childcare SPARK program participants will be supported throughout the process of becoming licensed in-home childcare providers, guided by business development professionals, local childcare operators, and early childhood development organizations. As pilot participants complete the program and become licensed home-based childcare providers, additional childcare spots will become available for local families. The program aims to successfully establish new in-home childcare businesses throughout Marquette County to help families find the care they need to remain or re-enter the workforce.  Classes will begin on May 2, 2023.   Childcare SPARK was developed by the Community Foundation of Marquette County (CFMC), Great Start to Quality, Lake Superior Community Partnership, Marquette-Alger RESA, and Regionerate. Since last January, the Marquette County Childcare Coalition,convened by the Community Foundation, hasbeen engaged in discussions to address the significant need for childcare and possible solutions. The coalition includes representatives from the community, local government, and nonprofit and economic development organizations.  

Christopher Germain, CEO, Lake Superior Community Partnership, which is providing overall operational support and coordinating Childcare SPARK's business component, said, “Focusing on in-home [providers] allows us to spread the slots across the county, placing them closer to where people live. In-home has a lower start-up cost and in-home businesses provide an opportunity for families to generate additional income using an existing asset: their home. In addition, having more childcare slots available will support the business community by allowing parents currently lacking childcare options to rejoin the workforce.”  

Zosia Eppensteiner, CEO of the Community Foundation of Marquette County, said, “The Childcare SPARK program teaches childcare providers the specific requirements to open home-based and family childcare centers, along with the business and financial skills necessary to maintain and grow their businesses,” adding, “This accelerator will empower early childhood providers to grow their confidence and skills around the business of early childhood education in an approachable and community-focused way.”  

To learn about eligibility requirements and to apply, visit childcarespark.com. The program, which officially launched on Monday, March 20, 2023, will accept applications through April 7, 2023.   


For more information contact the Lake Superior Community Partnership at 906-226-6591. Prepared by Ashley Szczepanski  

About Lake Superior Community Partnership 
The Lake Superior Community Partnership (LSCP) is the region’s leading resource for economic development, providing a wide variety of affordable and effective development services. The LSCP helps its partners make the connections that matter — between businesses, organizations, leaders and legislators, and provides a powerful legislative voice for programs and policies that strengthen the regional economy.  More information on the Lake Superior Community Partnership can be found at www.marquette.org

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