Skip to content

EdNC. Essential education news. Important stories. Your voice.

Small Business Administration celebrates ‘foundational’ Black-owned child care center in Durham

Voiced by Amazon Polly

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) kicked off Black History Month in Durham on Thursday with a visit to Kate’s Korner Learning Center, a child care center with a focus on healing and empowering early childhood educators.

Isabel Casillas Guzman, the administrator of the SBA and a member of President Biden’s cabinet, toured Kate’s Korner alongside owner and founder Kate Goodwin.

“You’re a foundational business,” Guzman told Goodwin. “Because of you, other small businesses can operate.”

Lack of access to affordable, high-quality child care can be a barrier for parents’ participation in the workforce, which is why child care providers often are referred to as the “workforce behind the workforce.”

A teacher at Kate’s Korner Learning Center reads to a student during a visit by the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Liz Bell/EducationNC

Kate’s Korner opened its doors at the American Tobacco Campus in the spring of 2023, filling a vital need for the many parents who work in downtown Durham.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do this without an SBA loan,” Goodwin said.

During her visit, Guzman discussed with Goodwin the important role that pandemic relief funds have played in supporting early childhood education sites like Kate’s Korner — and the fact that those funds will run out for North Carolina in June.

Guzman also thanked the early childhood educators of Kate’s Korner for the work they do on behalf of children and their families, then read a book — “The Colors of Us” by Karen Katz — to a class of preschool students.

“I have kids that are much bigger than you, but when they were little I did nothing but read to them,” Guzman told the students.

Isabel Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, reads a book to a preschool class at Kate’s Korner Learning Center. Liz Bell/EducationNC

At the end of the visit, Goodwin outlined her potential plan to franchise Kate’s Korner and stressed that directors of each center in that plan would own 20% of the business. Guzman noted that the SBA offers loans that specifically support that model of entrepreneurship and business development.

Learn more about Kate Goodwin’s empowerment model here.

Katie Dukes

Katie Dukes is a policy analyst at EdNC.