April 28, 2015

FBCS Childcare Providers Graduate to Business Success!


​On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, twenty-five home-based childcare providers graduated from the inaugural class of Northwest Bronx Childcare Entrepreneurship Program. The 40 hour business growth program was offered by NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) in partnership with Citi, the University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) and Fordham Bedford Community Services (FBCS).

Northwest Bronx Childcare Entrepreneurship Program graduates pose with their certificates and distinguished speakers in the Serviam Gardens theater.

All of the graduates are affiliated with the Fordham Bedford Community Services (FBCS) Daycare Network or nutritional support program (CACFP). The FBCS Early Learn Daycare Network helps low income families access safe, affordable, and reliable child care and provides professional development and support to the daycare providers. The home-based providers in the network provide educational enrichment and care for over 200 children and their families in our community. FBCS also runs a Child and Adult Care Food Program, (CACFP) a state funded food cost reimbursement and nutritional education program for child care providers in low income areas. Between the two programs, FBCS works with about 75 home-based childcare providers in the northwest Bronx.

Ada Marte, a program graduate, in her home-based childcare business.  Ada has been a childcare entrepreneur for 28 years and a group family daycare provider since 1996. Photo by Dana Ullman

The Program classes were held each Saturday at the Serviam Gardens theater, computer lab and conference room. Serviam Gardens was developed and is managed by Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation (FBHC) and offers homes and social services to 286 senior citizens. FBHC, the largest community sponsor of affordable housing in NYC, is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year and founded Fordham Bedford Community Services. Jim Buckley, Executive Director of UNHP, acknowledged the partnership and teamwork that contributed to the success of the program at the graduation.  “When we sat down a year ago with FBHC and FBCS, we talked about the neighborhood’s economic strengths and needs  Those discussions and that teamwork led to the creation of a new economic growth program for our community.” Thanks to the support of Citi, a specialized Fast Trac Growth Venture course was created by NYC Small Business Services for childcare providers and launched as the Northwest Bronx Childcare Entrepreneurship Program in January 2015.

John M. Reilly ( left), Executive Director Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation(FBHC) welcomed the graduates and applauded their efforts. Jim Buckley, Executive Director UNHP, acknowledged the value of working as a part of a community team. “Tonight is a good example of very successful teamwork.”

Gregg Bishop ( left), Deputy Commissioner for NYC Small Business Services, was thrilled that the Northwest Bronx Childcare Entrepreneurship Program allowed SBS to serve women entrepreneurs – a priority that’s represented by their recent WE NYC initiative, which expands the economic potential of women entrepreneurs across the five boroughs. 24 of the 25 graduates were women and two-thirds of the class was Spanish speakers. Colleen Galvin, (right) Senior VP for Citi Community Development congratulates the graduates with Spanish translation from FBCS Executive Director, John Garcia. She also thanked the partner organizations and “most importantly, the family and friends who provide support and encouragement” to the childcare providers.

Most of the graduates have been in business for more than 5 years and appreciated the opportunity to learn how to analyze their current business operations, identify growth opportunities, and create a plan to operate more efficiently and grow. The Northwest Bronx Childcare Entrepreneurship Program, was offered in both English and Spanish, provided free business management training and support to help underserved child care providers in Northwest Bronx.

The highlight of the evening was the speeches given by two accomplished graduates, Katiuska Morel and Regla Echevarria.  Both women spoke about how the Entrepreneurship Program and especially their instructor, Ada Uribe,  inspired them to think differently about their work and view themselves more strongly as businesswomen. The Northwest Bronx Childcare Entrepreneurship Program and graduation offered a sense of renewal to the hard-working childcare providers and the community groups that have worked to serve them and members of our northwest Bronx community through services, organizing and affordable housing development and preservation.

John Garcia, (left) Executive Director of Fordham Bedford Community Services, was the emcee and “translator” for the special evening. FBCS has successfully encouraged the growth, quality and prosperity of home-based daycare in the northwest Bronx. The highlight of the evening were the speeches by the two graduates, Katiuska Morel (top center) and Regla Echevarria ( bottom center), both felt inspired by the class to expand their businesses in new directions and expressed their gratitude to class instructor Ada Uribe (right) and all those who made the program possible.

After graduation, participants receive group coaching, access to mentors and a network of other local entrepreneurs, and connections to additional services through NYC Business Solutions including business courses, financial assistance, pro-bono legal services, incentives, certification, and more.     

Graduate, Nancy Reyes, and Ada share a laugh. Nancy and her mother, Eugenia have been childcare providers for 18 years.

About Northwest Bronx Childcare Entrepreneurship 

A partnership with Department of Small Business Services, Citi Community Development, University Neighborhood Housing Program and Fordham Bedford Community Services, the NW Bronx Childcare Entrepreneurship Program is a comprehensive, business management training and support initiative tailored for child care providers. The program equips providers in the Northwest Bronx with the skills, tools and resources to address challenges and accelerate the growth of their child care business.

Congratulations Graduates!

Ada Marte  – Ada Marte Group Family Daycare

Altagracia Contreras- Tia Tati Group Family Daycare

Dania Rosario – Dania Rosario Daycare

Diana Berrios- ABC Bluestar Daycare

Evelyn Nieves- Small Wonders Daycare

Fe Maria- Fe’s Group Family Daycare

Flavia Lopez- Big Dreams Group Family Daycare

Francisca Valdez – Francisca Valdez Daycare

Indiana Encarnacion- Little Angels Group Family Daycare

Katiuska Morel- Ambar Daycare Inc

Lynette Sooklall

Marcia Paulino- Marcia Daycare

Maria Luna -Maria Luna Daycare

Martha Smith -Village Daycare

Miriam Garcia- Miriam’s Daycare

Mirian Rodriguez- Mirian’s Daycare

Morenike Banima- Nikki Childcare

Nancy Reyes- Esperanza Group Family Daycare

Narcisa Marquez- Nachy Daycare

Odaro McGregor-BentOdaro – Kiddie Town Daycare

Regla Echaverria -Blue Star Group Family Daycare

Sonia Segura- S.S Family Daycare

Soveida Marte- Soveida Group Family Daycare

Ulises Estevez- Francisca Lopez Group Family Daycare

Xiomara Burgos- Titi-Mara Daycare

Program Partners


Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

New York City Department of Small Business Services

The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) makes it easier for businesses in New York City to start, operate, and expand by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, and linking employers to a skilled and qualified workforce.

University Neighborhood Housing Program

The mission of University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) is to create, and preserve affordable housing and bring needed resources to the Northwest Bronx. UNHP achieves its mission by issuing low interest loans from our three loan funds, providing technical assistance to community leaders, neighborhood groups and affordable housing managers, by organizing around and researching the issues that impact housing affordability and attracting resources to the community through the Northwest Bronx Resource Center. The majority of our work benefits the Bronx and the northwest Bronx, in particular. Our work to identify and improve distressed multifamily housing has a NYC-wide impact. The UNHP Northwest Bronx Resource Center serves our community with resources for financial education, foreclosure prevention, free tax preparation and small business help.

Fordham-Bedford Community Services

Fordham Bedford Community Services is dedicated to serving the children and families of the Northwest Bronx and surrounding areas. In partnership with the community, Fordham Bedford Community Services seeks creative ways to strengthen families by providing a variety of programs and services. Year-round youth services, immigration assistance, adult education programs, and college prep are among their programs. FBCS works to support about 75 home-based childcare businesses through an Early Learn Network and nutritional support program. FBCS has successfully encouraged the growth, quality and prosperity of home-based daycare in the northwest Bronx.

Some of the 25 graduates of the Northwest Bronx Childcare Entrepreneurship Program.