In 2002, Alma Ferrel opened a home-based day care center and preschool in Fillmore. By 2010,she was at capacity. With different classes throughout the day, ranging from infant care to preschool and after-school care, Ferrel had children in her home eight hours each weekday. With the demand for child care service rising in Fillmore, Ferrel knew she needed a bigger space.
All it took was a phone call to EDC-VC and its Small Business Development Center for Ferrel to begin the process of opening ABC Kids Preschool & Childcare in a facility that could accommodate more children. From working with SBDC advisors on permits, finance, planning and facilities and developing a business plan, to acquiring loans and contacting construction engineers for renovations and playgrounds, SBDC advisors were with Ferrel every step of the way. EDC-VC’s partnership with the county and First 5 Ventura County enabled Ferrel to receive more than $200,000 in loan funding to build out her new commercial facility, equip it with furniture, purchase playground equipment and install a kitchen.
ABC Kids Preschool & Childcare currently has over 150 children enrolled and nearly 20 teachers. It is the first preschool and child care center of its kind in Fillmore,with
classesforinfants, toddlers, preschool classes and after-school care. She hopes to open another center in the future so she can serve more families. “I plan on reaching out
to EDC-VC and its SBDC again. They were so helpful the first time and I know that having them as a partner will build on our success and help to provide a much-needed resource to the community,”said Ferrel.
• Patience is a virtue:
“The whole processtook about two years,”said Ferrel.“But with
the support of EDC-VC, SBDC and First 5, everything worked out.
From going through the lease to acquiring the right permits,
staying on track and trusting in the plan we developed wasthe
key to oursuccess.”
• You’ve got friends:
“Some of our neighborsinitially opposed the day care center
moving in. EDC-VC, First 5 and Ventura County Supervisor Kathy
Long spoke on my behalf and really helped turn opinions around.
Today, we have a great relationship with all of our neighbors and
they love having the center in the neighborhood.”
• Trust in yourself:
“Throughout the process, there were times where I wondered if
I could do it. But EDC-VC really believed in me as an individual
and was willing to advocate on my behalf. It really helped me
because I knew that having theirsupport and the support of my
family would help me overcome any obstacles.”
• Funding is available:
“By establishing a partnership with EDC-VC, SBDC and First 5,
I gained accessto everything I needed to renovate and build
out the space. From gaining funding to hire contractors and
employees, the loansI received made all of this possible
and allowed me to create jobs.”