b'Empowering Providers to Build Their OwnCreated in 2018, Build Your Own was designed to address the alarming shortage of child care across the seven-county metro area. As many as 75% of Minnesotas urban residents live in a child care desert, compared to 26% statewide. In Saint Paul, for example, there are more than 3 children per high-quality child care slot. We know this shortage a\x1e ects low-income families and families of color deeply; recent research shows child care closures related to the pandemic will be concentrated in low-income and middle-income neighborhoods disrupting families access. By providing professional coaching to build a high-quality Parent Aware star-rated program, including step-by-step assistance through the licensing process, required training, and establishing a child care environment, the Build Your Own program sets a strong foundation for programs in underserved neighborhoods. 76% of Build Your Own participants identify as people of color. In 2021, Think Small successfully expanded its Build Your Own services in Martin County with an inaugural cohort of prospective child care providers. Despite hundreds of programs closing around the state in 2021, Martin County only lost one licensed family child care program in all of 2021. The individualized supports Build Your Own o\x1e ers presents CHILD CARE BUSINESSa comprehensive approach to closing the opportunity gap and providing PROGRAM ANDSERVICES families with quality child care programs across the state. In 2021, Build Your Own helped license 41 child care providers in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, creating 569 more opportunities for children to learn and grow in a high-quality early learning environment and 70 jobs for early childhood educators. One such program is owned by Sharaya Robinson in North Minneapolis. Robinson wanted to open her own family child care program after observing how much better prepared children were when they had gone through a high-quality early learning program. Through Think Smalls Build Your Own program, she was able to overcome the biggest challenges to starting her business and create an equitable early learning program, ready to serve Click here to learn moreher community for the long term where there was previously no child care about Sharayas experience with Build Your Own program available for families. www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwFPq7KLYeMResources for Child CaringMinnesota makes its largest early childhood adopts the name Think Small;investment in over a decade: $46 million is Resources for Child Caring expands frommerges with Minnesotasappropriated by the legislature for 8,000 Early serving the communities of Ramsey, Washingtonleading early childhoodLearning Scholarships over two years for children in and Dakota to the entire seven-county metroadvocacy organization Readyfamilies at or near poverty income levels, with an area by adding Hennepin, Carver,4 K, setting a new chapteradditional $20 million committed to strengthen Scott and Anoka. prioritizing early childhoodand support high-quality child care programs.education through policY. 2003 2008 2008 2012 2012 2013RCC and Mary AnnBarbara Yates becomes CEO, Barrows Wark drive capital(2008to present), andThink Smalls Debra S. Fish Early campaign to purchase andResources for Child CaringChildhood Resource Library move to a permanent oceexpands services and opensbecomes a branch of the public space and warehousean oce in Minneapolislibrary system, making itsin St. Paul. to reach the west-metro area resources accessible statewide.'