Childcare center that would be open 24 hours a day looks to Kiva to help raise funds
Published 12:01 am Sunday, February 26, 2023
SALISBURY — Childcare is not something that’s ignored or taken lightly. For many parents, it’s a constant struggle to find the support to help look after the kids during work hours. Some parents have unorthodox shifts that don’t match up with a typical childcare center schedule.
Stephanie Roebuck-Alston is doing everything in her power to help change that.
Roebuck-Alston is the owner of Brighter Beginnings Childcare Center, a facility that is planning to be open 24/7 for parents to drop off their kids no matter what time it is when they go to work.
“Teaching has always been something that I’ve wanted to do,” Roebuck-Alston said. “We provide education, we provide fun, learning through play. That’s basically what we do.”
Roebuck-Alston has a degree in early childhood education and has always thought of opening up her own center to teach and look after kids, but veered away from it for a while due to the logistical challenges it requires. However, she has been seeing more chances for her to start fulfilling her dream.
The building she is currently using became available and a rise in “pandemic babies” made early childhood education even more important. After hearing from her son’s school that kids are not meeting minimum education requirements, she felt like now was the time for action.
“When this opportunity came, I prayed about and I was like, ‘Stephanie, yeah we gotta put our foot in and see what’s going on.’ ”
For now, Brighter Beginnings is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Kids can be looked after for four hours at a time, but plans to become a 24/7 center are almost complete. Licensing to do so should be completed by next month.
“Once we get through that licensing, it will be full-time care. Everybody is loving it. We have a waiting list for full-time care of almost 50 people. Once we open, we’re going to draw from that waiting list,” Roebuck-Alston said.
Roebuck-Alston is looking for funds to help construct a playground for the center. To help with this, she is using Kiva, the crowdfunding platform that helps minorities and women business owners. Salisbury city council members David Post and Harry McLaughlin were the first to bring Kiva to Roebuck-Alston’s attention while she was looking for funding.
“I was kind of a little iffy because of the crowd funding, but once I read and understood how it worked I was like, ‘This is something I should try,’ ” Roebuck-Alston said.
She is asking for $5,000. She is a little over halfway there with just under two weeks to go to meet her goal. She is feeling confident about her chances to raise the money she needs.
“I’m positive because a lot of my lenders, they want to see how much I can raise and then they’re going to help push me over that threshold once we get a little closer. It’s a process, but I can see a lot of the community coming together and that’s one of the things I like about Kiva,” Roebuck-Alston said.
She still advises people do their research on Kiva. “It’s not for everybody, but it is a good way to one, get the community support, two, get the funding that you need, and three, it will help if they get business loans elsewhere that will help show good rapport,” Roebuck-Alston said.
Roebuck-Alston is grateful for all the help Kiva has given her and her business. She hopes it can assist with other people’s goals and make Salisbury a more giving place to live.
“I definitely would recommend Kiva to small business owners. I really would encourage the community to look into becoming lenders because for small business owners it’s really tough getting financing especially if you’re not a non-profit organization.”
If you would like to donate to Stephanie’s efforts. visit https://www.kiva.org/lend/2516965