Little Dippers Doodle Children’s Center

When Little Dippers Doodle Children’s Center, a licensed child care center in East Burke, VT, wanted to expand and relocate its business, owner Betsy Bailey turned to NCIC for funding assistance. The bank would only finance a portion of the construction cost, so NCIC participated in a lending package with the Vermont Community Loan Fund to fill the gap. This funding allowed Betsy to build a new child care center at the St. Johnsbury-Lyndonville Industry Park and triple the size of her business.

“At my previous facility, we were serving 45 children. Now, we have the capacity and resources to serve 150 children,” said Betsy. Open from 5:00 am to 8 pm, Monday through Friday, Little Dippers Doodle Children’s Center offers a full preschool program, swimming lessons, hiking, skiing, and transportation to and from area schools for classes and extracurricular activities.

“NCIC, especially Dave Keenan, has been extremely helpful and responsive in so many ways,” said Betsy. “We knew we would need new playground equipment, so NCIC gave me a loan to buy the equipment even before the center was built. They also provided technical assistance for QuickBooks training and for the development of a marketing brochure and website.”

NCIC Business Resource Manager Dave Keenan is proud to be part of this project’s success. “Betsy worked tirelessly to achieve her vision and we are thrilled to be part of it. Little Dippers Doodle is not only providing a valuable and much needed service to the greater community, it has also created 18 new jobs,” said Dave.

Little Dippers Doodle is committed to maintaining the quality of its facility and services. NCIC provided a loan for minor facility modifications, such as adding sound absorption ceiling panels, to enhance the learning environment. As a result of these improvements, Little Dippers Doodle increased its Vermont STAR ranking from 2 to 4 (the highest is 5). STAR is Vermont’s Step Ahead Recognition System, a quality rating system for child care, preschool, and afterschool programs that many parents refer to when choosing child care. A higher number of STARs means greater financial rewards for Little Dippers Doodle, such as higher state reimbursements on the child care financial assistance fee scale.

“I would not have been able to build a new facility, expand my business, and increase my quality rating without the financial and personal support of NCIC,” said Betsy.

To learn more about Little Dippers Doodle Children’s Center, visit their Facebook page.