Childcare Worker-Owned Cooperative Program

Childcare Co-Op Program Information Sessions

Are you a childcare worker interested in opening a center? Are you a family childcare provider ready to expand your business? Have you thought about co-owning a center with other childcare professionals?

You are invited to learn how the worker-owned co-op business model works for childcare centers at a free information session about WomenVenture's Childcare Co-op Program. In this short (1.5) hour workshop, you will also learn about the free business training, mentoring, and loan supports provided through this 9 month Childcare Co-op Program. The course begins in March 2019, and we are taking applications. The fees for this program are covered by a grant, so there is no cost to participants

Register for one of the following free Information Sessions:

January 7, 2019
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Rondo Community Library
461 Dale Ave North
St. Paul, MN 55104

January 8, 2019 
Co-sponsored by Neighborhood House Family Center
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
John A. Johnson Elementary School
740 York Ave. 
St. Paul, MN 55106

January 15, 2019 
Co-sponsored by Neighborhood House Family Center
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
The Wellstone Center
179 Robie Street East
St. Paul, MN 55107

Why a Worker Co-op?

Worker co-ops create businesses that are values-driven. Their core purpose is to benefit both the worker and the community. Our program will create a replicable pathway for developing a sustainable childcare center that strives to offer:

  • Living wages and benefits for teachers
  • Hours of care needed by working parents
  • Quality early education for children

Worker Co-ops Increase Wages

Childcare workers are among the lowest-paid professionals in the country, making it difficult to recruit and retain qualified staff. In 2015, the median wage for childcare workers in Minnesota was $10.81 – only a 1% increase since 2010. Between 2005 and 2014, Minnesota lost over 3,000 – or nearly 30% of –licensed family childcare providers. Cooperative worker-owned business models are highly effective in creating and maintaining living wage jobs.

Co-ops Make Business Ownership Possible

A cooperatively-owned business provides opportunities for workers to become owners and build equity together. Shared ownership makes the dream of business ownership a reality for people who lack access to capital. In a worker co-op, workers are the decision makers and benefit from the success of the business they co-own.

There were a lot of obstacles. WomenVenture saw the potential in me and my business. I knew how to take care of children, but I didn’t understand the financial piece of running a business. WomenVenture helped me create a budget. I am very grateful for everything that they have done on my behalf and I recommend them every chance I get.

Yolanda Maxwell, Owner of Little Steps Childcare Center

Program Overview

Starting in March 2019, the next cohort of the Childcare Worker-Owned Cooperative program will participate in nine months of cooperative business training, expert consultation, and incubation as they launch worker-owned cooperative childcare centers.


Email Nancy Johnson, Childcare Co-op Program Manager, or call 612-224-9565.