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June 13, 2023

FAME financing to help southern Maine child care center to grow

As the need surges for affordable child care and business executives push for expanded access, financing recently approved by the Finance Authority of Maine, or FAME, will allow a childcare center to grow its capacity by hundreds of children in central and southern Maine.

FAME’s board of directors approved financing for Roselyn North Academy (formerly known as Beansprouts Learning Center), which owns and operates two child care centers in Freeport and Yarmouth.

The combination of two FAME direct loans totaling $2,370,200, as well as 90% pro rata loan insurance on a $795,000 loan by Bath Savings Institution, will allow Roselyn North Academy to acquire six additional child care centers, which will increase the company’s capacity by 524 spots for a total of 636 licensed spots for eight total centers, according to a news release.

FAME is also partnering with Brunswick-based Coastal Enterprises Inc., through the Grow Maine program, to each provide $787,500 in funding for an additional $1.6 million loan to Beansprouts. Grow Maine, administered by FAME in conjunction with various statewide lending partners, provides funding via loan guarantees, direct loans and equity capital. 

And CEI and FAME are partnering on one of the two FAME direct loans, with each providing $397,500.

The board’s action will help retain 77 jobs and is expected to create 51 jobs by the end of 2024.

Beansprouts opened in 2013, according to its LinkedIn page. The goal was to provide an early childhood education in an eco-friendly environment, according to its website. The provider later changed its name to Roselyn North Academy. 

“We are very appreciative of FAME’s support as we increase our child care services in other parts of the state,” said Angela Garrison, Roselyn’s owner. 

CEI first worked with Roselyn North Academy, then Beansprouts, as a startup in 2013. 

“Access to quality childcare is a key factor in parents’ ability to engage in the workforce and maintain economic stability, which is why we have supported the sector through advising and financing for over 40 years,” said Daniel Wallace, CEI's chief investment officer.  

Richard Trafton, FAME’s board chair, said the company’s activities provide a “strong public benefit” in addressing the high demand for childcare services. 

“Our actions should help to address this need and allow more adults to participate in Maine’s workforce,” Trafton said.

The Maine Economic Development Strategy 2020-29 calls for increased investments in Maine’s child care system in order to prepare children to succeed.

The report notes that one of the most frequently asked questions by individuals considering a move to Maine is “What is the child care situation in Maine? Availability? Quality?” 

FAME’s direct loan program provides access to operating capital for startups and existing businesses for most business purposes. Its commercial loan insurance program ensures part of a loan to a business made by a participating financial institution or investment firm. For a business, it might mean the difference between obtaining a loan or never getting the opportunity to start a business.

FAME is a quasi-independent state agency that provides innovative financial solutions to help Maine citizens pursue business and educational opportunities. 

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