"There is no correlation between income and need for childcare," said Rosa.
Access to childcare is often an obstacle to women’s success in the workplace. Lack of affordable options can mean that women have to leave the workforce and sacrifice their career to take care of their children. Thus, access to affordable childcare is one of the keys to achieving equal opportunity to stay in the workforce – across gender and class lines.
Rosa is passionate about providing a solution to this societal problem. She grew up in Rochester, N.Y., learning from her grandmother, who ran a successful daycare for more than 30 years. All the parents and children at the daycare adored her, and even called her “grandma.”
Working alongside her grandma at the daycare imbued her with the same philosophies her grandmother lived by. “Love, honor, respect, and education for all children resound like a roaring sea in everything I do,” Rosa says.
After working in other industries for a while, Rosa returned to her passion for childcare in 2014. With 2 of her own young boys in tow, she started with a summer camp for 6 children, nannied during off-seasons, and opened a widely successful in-home daycare. Her childcare evolved into an educational cooperative where parents and educators work together to provide a customized learning experience for each child. She values learning through play and hands-on experiences, according to children’s individual talents and needs.
“Though rewarding, it was very limited in the number of children I was able to serve,” Rosa said. She wanted to expand her impact, and in December 2018 she received a Kiva loan of $9,000 to open Rochester’s first overnight childcare and preschool center called The Hangout Spot. It offers flexible and budget-friendly childcare and education.
"Our company's mission is to eradicate poverty," Rosa said. "We will accomplish this by doing all that we can to ensure childcare is not a barrier to progress." The Hangout Spot charges half-price for single-parent families and pays all employees a living wage - an anomaly in the childcare industry.
Rosa is aware of traditionally high turnover in childcare staffing - so she instills her employees with a sense of pride, responsibility, and empowerment by giving them a stake in the organization. Her loan from Kiva will help her create living-wage jobs in the community and enable local parents to enter or stay in the workforce.
Rosa’s Kiva loan doesn’t just benefit her. It also empowers her employees, helps parents in her community to thrive, and supports the educational and emotional growth of the children at her childcare center. There are women just like Rosa all around the world contributing to community development and advancing economic growth for everyone – regardless of gender or income. Click here to fund a loan for a woman like Rosa.