Tamara Walker began Tamara J’s Day Care as a home-based business in her 800 sq. ft apartment. An unexpected corporate downsizing prompted her to explore expanding. Two years later, she had secured a 3,400 sq. ft space with a 45-child capacity, where she now employs 6 full-time and 1 per diem workers.

Walker explains that she didn’t foresee her business growing like this. She was referred the the Community Loan Fund by the Child Care Coordinating Council because she didn’t know what her options were. “The support was phenomenal,” Walker says. “I didn’t feel like I was just another loan. The word community goes so much further than the name.”

Walker says the Community Loan Fund walked her through the process of securing a loan step by step. “I had never taken out a loan before and had no idea how the process worked. No matter how many questions I had or how many times I asked the same question, I was always met with patience and answers. I never felt like I was a bother,” says Walker.

Walker says she also felt supported in other ways. “Not too many people can call their loan officer when they are having a bad day and are stressed or worried. I can.”

Walker continues to support her family and build her dream to provide a healthy and happy space for children. Her goal is to make good memories for the children for whom this may be their first experience in daycare, which means creating a safe space to grow, learn, explore, create, imagine and laugh. “I want the families to connect so that parents know who the other children that their children are spending the day with,” says Walker.