Before 2005, if you were a parent in Noble County or one of its surrounding counties and were looking for child care, you would face a continual battle. Availability, cost, safety, quality, and accessibility all added to the frustration of finding the right place, the comforting place to care for your children. It wasn’t much better for caregivers. Noble Learning Center had been in business for years — always addressing the space issues of high rent, low quality, no availability, poor fit, and no option to renew lease. Driven from location to location, from one not-so-ideal learning environment to another, Noble Learning Center operated out of rented apartments on the second floor of a senior center in rural Ohio. Then came the unfortunate news that they would not be able to renew their lease. Unsure about the future of the Center at all, Center director LaShona DeVolld noticed a postcard from Finance Fund cross her desk. As a last ditch effort to see her dreams continue, LaShona made the call that turned her dreams into reality. Her passion to provide for the community’s children and Finance Fund’s commitment to help them succeed by providing necessary access to capital, allowed the children of this very rural area to have a quality facility to plant the seeds of learning that will help them grow and develop into successful individuals.
LaShona discovered an old abandoned National Guard Armory near the center of town. With an open floor plan and a solid brick structure, she thought she had found her new home. After much patience and perseverance, LaShona purchased the former armory building and began major renovations. Funds received from multiple investors, including Finance Fund, were used for these renovations, as well as furniture, equipment and supplies. Thanks to this partnership the center can continue its legacy of being the only licensed child care provider in a four-county region and providing opportunity not only for children to learn and grow but for parents to gain peace of mind and economic flexibility.
Finance Fund provided:
- A grant for planning
- a way to lower the interest rate on a bank loan
- a grant for facilities improvement
- lower interest rate loan to remodel the building
The resulting child care center not only provides service for 135 children, it supported 20 construction jobs, 15 full time jobs, the productive reuse of an abandoned 14,880 square foot building and has become an economic engine in the local economy.