small business owner, starting a business, female small businesses, female small biz owner, small biz growth, small biz advice, small biz success, small business success
Resilient America: Families couldn't afford childcare. So I built a business https://www.chase.com/content/dam/chasecom/en/newsroom/images/primary/021918-rochelle-johnson_hero.jpg/_jcr_content/renditions/cq5dam.web.844.475.jpeg https://www.chase.com Resilient America: Families couldn't afford childcare. So I built a business
Play Video about {Video Title}. Hides description and transcript
Your Money

Plan Your Future

Resilient America: Families couldn't afford childcare. So I built a business

This story is part of Resilient America, a series in which people share stories of how they've rebounded from personal challenges—and lessons for us all. It is presented by Chase.

Resilient America brand logo

I was born in Brooklyn, and after high school, I started working at an income tax office run out of a woman's home.

I was pretty much running the office, making $400 a week. She was making $50,000 within three months of tax time. After I had my daughter, who is now 11 years old, I brought her to work with me. I didn't have money for child care. So, eventually, I decided to open business—a preschool. If I could take care of my own child, I could take care of other people's children, too. I knew other people needed affordable childcare.

Text quotes from Rochelle

The scariest part starting out was success. I didn't know if I would be successful. I didn't know where it was going to lead. But I was determined to pursue my business dream, and make a better life for my family.

--

I couldn't afford a big location, so I had to start small. I applied for city housing. I thought that because there were so many children in the city housing that I would get a lot of kids. But their parents want them to get out of the neighborhood. Soon, I was caring for two or three kids, but I had to shut down again to relocate. I moved into a two-bedroom condo, in a better community. And eventually, I bought a van to help move the kids from point A to point B.

Providing transportation helped me grow the business. I went from two or three kids, to 16 kids. Then, I was at 22 kids, which was over capacity. I moved into a two-family house with a basement, so that I would be able to open at least two programs. When I got there, I realized that even though it was a bigger house, and I could take more kids, it wasn't generating enough money to pay certified teachers.

I want to make sure every child in my care gets the education they need so they can reach their full potential. Maybe they'll be able to run a business one day, or be able to hold down a full-time job so they can take care of their families.

Providing education to children gives my business a competitive edge, because the parents want it. We teach different languages. We do tutoring. We have a good curriculum. Parents see the difference.

When I moved the business here, I had to pay rent on the building for about six or seven months before I could even get licensed. So it was nothing like I thought it would be. But today we are up and running, and I can see where we'll be in the future.

I named the school "Mini Giants," because the kids are so little but they have big spirits and big brains. I get satisfaction knowing the kids are happy, and safe. My 11-year-old daughter helps with the business, too. She helps kids with their seat belts. She changes diapers. She could pretty much run a preschool herself, if she had to. I just hope that she grows up and has the life that she wants.

This is all part of the journey.

Screen Reader Users: To load more articles, scroll down the page, or click the list of articles.

You're now leaving Chase

Chase's website and/or mobile terms, privacy and security policies don't apply to the site or app you're about to visit. Please review its terms, privacy and security policies to see how they apply to you. Chase isn’t responsible for (and doesn't provide) any products, services or content at this third-party site or app, except for products and services that explicitly carry the Chase name.