As a mother, Chandra Moreno recognized how important high-quality early childhood education was not only to her family but also to her community. So when her son’s daycare facility -the largest one in town- was facing closure, she knew she had to do something, and decided to open a new Montessori childcare center in Ironwood.
The chosen site, a former elementary school, needed extensive renovations to get it up to code, including lead testing and fire signaling systems. Chandra, her family, friends and community all pulled together and worked hard for seven months to finally secure the license – all without the need for a loan, thanks to angel investors.
Beyond help with the building, Chandra also received the help of Michigan SBDC Senior Business Consultant Daniel Yoder. Together Daniel and Chandra worked through her business plan, including a SWOT analysis and pricing models. She also participated in the Michigan SBDC’s Uplift Michigan™ program and has hired 20 employees. Chandra is focused on hiring the right people and retaining them.
High-quality, affordable child care options can be tough to find, but thanks to Chandra and her team, there’s a new option in the Upper Peninsula: the Ironwood Early Learning Academy.