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Childcare courses in Corona

Corona’s demand for licensed home-based childcare services is not fully met. But one city organization is trying to change that by offering free courses in Spanish on managing childcare service businesses to help its graduates become and stay licensed providers. Fifteen people completed such a course on Thursday, July 17.
This 55-hour course is offered by the Business Outreach Center (BOC) Network, a city nonprofit organization that helps people who want to start or expand their businesses. The classes take place in the organization’s Queens office, located in Corona on 96-11 40th Road.
Offered since 2005, the course teaches things like marketing, finance and childhood development, said Rosalinda Martinez, director of the Queens branch of the BOC Network.
With the certificate received upon course completion, graduates who already have a license become eligible to renew it; those who have never run such a business need to take extra steps to get a license, explained Martinez.
Corona’s childcare course, which has 52 graduates so far, is not geared toward license receipt or renewal, but it provides help in that respect, said Martinez, explaining that the neighborhood has only 48 providers who have a license to offer childcare services out of their homes.
“It [this number] is low for the entire population of Corona – anybody who works needs to have somebody to take care of their kids,” said Martinez.
The number of people who offer the service without a license is likely much higher, she added.
Unlicensed providers tend to charge less than licensed ones, whose weekly fees range from $80 to about $160 per child; however, unlicensed providers could be dangerous because they lack training about safety, nutrition, and proper activities, Martinez said.
“They’re just watching the children. They have them watch TV and do nothing,” she explained.
The rest of the borough also has a high demand for home-based childcare services - in 2006, there was an unmet need for 21,231 children aged 6 and under, out of 79,370 kids with an unmet need citywide, according to the Citizens’ Committee for Children, a child advocacy organization in the city.
The Business Outreach Center Network also offers childcare classes in Rego Park and Far Rockaway as well as in other boroughs.

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