Montana Public Radio

Can Do: How MyVillage Is Working To Remake Childcare

Sep 6, 2019

According to the Center for American Progress, 51% of Americans live in a daycare desert; a place with almost no openings for infants or toddlers in nearby licensed preschools. Those lucky enough to find openings often spend more on childcare than they can afford, and many educators can’t earn enough as preschool teachers to make ends meet.

In 2017, two mothers in Bozeman, Montana saw an opportunity. Drawing on their past entrepreneurial experience they launched MyVillage, a platform that connects parents with trained, licensed daycare providers. Mentoring and support for MyVillage staff is built into the program, which received a 98% customer satisfaction rating in Colorado and Montana in its first year of operation.

MyVillage Co-Founder & CEO Erica Mackey (L) with 'Can Do' Host Arnie Sherman and Elke Govertsen, chief community officer for MyVillage.

In 2019, MyVillage attracted $6 million in seed capital, the largest seed round ever for a Montana start-up. Venture fund Acumen America’s director, Catherine Casey Nanda, says, "We invested in MyVillage because it has the team, strategy, determination and moral imagination to challenge the status quo of child care in the U.S."

On this episode of Can Do: Lessons from Savvy Montana Entrepreneurs, MyVillage co-founder & CEO Erica Mackey and Chief Community Officer Elke Govertsen talk with host Arnie Sherman about what it’s like to be a daycare owner in need of business mentoring, or a parent desperate for good childcare. We’ll also explore their concept of living as a village, and what empowers them to challenge such a pervasive problem at the national scale.

This is Can Do: Lessons From Savvy Montana Entrepreneurs, a podcast that explores why Montana leads the nation in entrepreneurship and business startups.