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Without the Loan Fund's commitment to sustainability and understanding of doing business in Vermont, we would have had a much harder time growing Vermont Smoke and Cure.

Chris Bailey
Vermont Smoke and Cure

Committed to Caremudcitykids.jpg - 434.73 kb

Morrisville

“Providing quality care for Vermont’s kids is among the most important work to be done in our state. Thanks to the Loan Fund, I’m able to do just that.”

 

 

Tracy Patnoe knows about the need for quality childcare. “There are children on the waiting list that haven’t even been born yet! Almost every day I get calls from parents.”

“After my second child, I visited daycares, but I couldn’t find any I really liked.” So Tracy started Mud City Kids Child Care in 1999. The plan was to run the child care program out of her family home until her own child was ready for school. “But by then, I had taken a lot of classes, and had a bunch of credits towards a degree. And I liked it!”

After a couple years, recognizing the need in the community, Tracy and her husband Ernie decided to move the program into a larger space. The challenge was financing the expansion. “Our bank was hesitant. Early care and education is not a big moneymaker. We looked around, but I don’t think I would have found a bank to make the loan.”

The Patnoes received a loan from VCLF for the purchase and renovation of a single-family home…and what a renovation it was! “It was affordable because we did nearly all the work ourselves,” says Tracy. “I bet I’ve spent at least 600 hours on this place.” laughs Ernie. “We were here Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve that year too!”

Their commitment shows. Today, Mud City Kids Child Care Center provides high-quality early care and education to 60 children from infants to age 6. The expansion also created 16 full-time jobs. “The kids really benefit from the bigger space.” says Tracy. “The (age) groups have their own separate spaces. The parents have been very happy.”

“With financing from VCLF, I’ve been able to expand my program, increase the number of kids and families I serve. I’ve been able to make quality improvements, increase my STARS rating and pay a higher wage. They’ve helped me to run a business that is sustainable.”

“I believe that providing quality care for Vermont’s kids is among the most important work to be done in our state. Thanks to the Loan Fund, I’m able to do just that.”