Family Childcare Start-up Forgivable Loan Program


Managed by the St. James Economic Development Authority

The Watonwan County Family Child Care Start-Up Forgivable Loan Program provides an incentive to start a new family child care service in Watonwan County. The program provides a matching forgivable loan for actual expenses relating to the cost of opening a family child care business in Watonwan County, up to $1,000 per provider. Qualifying expenses must be approved by the Watonwan County Child Care Licensor and the St. James EDA Director. Approved requests will be funded on a first-come/first-served basis until all funds are expended. 

Forgivable Child Care Loan Policy


Only new family child care providers located within Watonwan County are eligible for the loan program.

* Funds may be requested for the following items (up to): 

  • Licensing fee ($100)
  • Zoning fees
  • Background study fee ($100)
  • Pre Licensing training ($175/per person)
  • Ongoing training ($250/per person)
  • Fire Marshal visit, if needed ($50)
  • Smoke Detectors ($10/each)
  • Fire extinguishers ($35 )
  • Outlet plugs ($4)
  • Stationary baby gate ($60)
  • First aid kits ($15)
  • Utensils/plates/cups ($30)
  • Pack n Play ($120)
  • Pack n Play sheet ($10)
  • Cots ($120)
  • High chair/booster seat ($40)
  • Fluid Cleanup kit ($15)
  • Potty seat/chair ($20)
  • Monitor ($40)
  • Toys for each age group ($200)
  • Craft supplies ($200)
  • Strollers ($100)

Following loan approval, the Lessee shall execute a promissory note. Awarded loan funds will be dispersed to the child care provider upon submittal of receipts or invoices for supplies purchased.

The loan will not accumulate any interest. 

The amount of the loan will be due and payable to the St. James EDA three (3) years following the distribution of loan funds. If, however, the child care business to which the loan was granted remains in business in three (3) years following the distribution of loan funds, the loan shall be forgiven by the St. James EDA. Loan forgiveness will be granted at a rate of 1/3 per year.