Amy Long purchased Por Dia Preschool & Learning Center sixteen years ago. Por Dia is licensed to serve up to 60 children. They offer daily preschool, toddler care, and before/after school care. Long approached Joe Keck for help in expanding her Toddler program. Beginning in August of 2011, they worked together for six to eight months. “Joe personally came by my business to consult with me, and we met at the SBDC office at the Cortez Chamber of Commerce building, plus communicated through emails.
Since Por Dia is a for-profit business, there are not many grant opportunities available. Joe Keck put Long in touch with grant writer, Nicole Fabrey who researched grant options, but was unable to get funding. Keck also suggested she contact Carolina Perky through the Department of Human Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. This agency helped fund expanding the preschool to include toddlers, and provided funding to install ramps and new carpet in the expanded Toddler area.
“Having ramps is a State licensing requirement; therefore, I had to remodel the building,” Long explains. “My long term goal was always to utilize the whole building and make it all a school. I had to do it in steps that were the best financially.” SBDC Business Advisor, Nancy Schaufele helped to formulate the business plan and worked with Long to finalize the numbers to make sure the expansion was a sound business decision. “This expansion really increased the revenue and supported many more families in the community by providing toddler care for those in need. I am now able to take more children and serve families that have children of varying ages.”
Por Dia accepts many programs to help families afford quality child care, such as, Colorado Head Start, Navajo Nation, Colorado Pre-School, and CCAP – Colorado Child Assistance Program.
“I want to thank Joe Keck for telling me about so many resources and people who were helpful in expanding my business. I appreciate all the help he gave me to make my business a success and allow me to serve more families.
“I also want to thank Tom Comisky who constructed the cement ramps and Angel from Angel’s Flooring out of Farmington who redid the flooring for the expansion. These are just some of the people that helped me complete a much needed addition to offer affordable child care in Montezuma County. There is a great need for infant and toddler care in this community.”