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Day care business expands with development loan

Judy Sundeen stands in front of a toy shelf on Thursday that was built for her Sunny Days Daycare business. After six years of running the day care out of her residence, Sundeen purchased a home at 616 Ave. SE in Jamestown to convert into a full time day care. Tom LaVenture / The Sun

Adevelopment fund loan has made it possible for a Jamestown day care to expand.

Sunny Days Daycare received a $100,000 loan through the North Dakota Development Fund, a program of the North Dakota Department of Commerce that provides flexible funding for new or expanding primary sector businesses.

Judy Sundeen, owner of Sunny Days Daycare, said she ran the business out of her home for six years. It was always her dream to expand, she said.

“It was nice to have the day care in the home setting but you never really leave work and I was always doing something for work,” Sundeen said. “No one will be living there but the new day care is still in a home environment and so it’s more comforting for the children.”

Sunny Days Daycare is a private business that was licensed for 10 children out of her home, she said. The loan was used to purchase and renovate the home at 616 3rd St. SE to be used exclusively as a licensed day care center for 17 children. The new location opened Monday, she said.

Sundeen said renovations included opening a wall to provide more first-floor space in what was a living room and a dining room. There was also accessibility work to modify restrooms and stairs for small children, she said.

There are now steps for small children to reach sinks and smaller bathroom facilities to use, Sundeen said. The front porch was converted into a room for coats, she said.

The new day care location has separate spaces for infants and toddlers and for the older children, she said. The day care currently serves children ages 6 weeks to 12 years with all-day care and before and after school day care, she said.

There are two fulltime day care providers. Sundeen, who has a certification through the Child Development Accreditation Council for a preschool curriculum, and her daughter-inlaw, Jennifer Sundeen, who has a degree in early elementary education.

Scott Long, vice president of the North Dakota Development Fund, is the account representative for Sunny Days Day Care. He said regulations prohibit discussion of account details but did say there is a need for day care in North Dakota.

“When we see an existing day care that wants to expand to take on additional child spots that is something we look forward to funding,” Long said. “That was why the fund was created, to help with these types of expansions.”

The loan is not restricted and can be used for improvements, real estate or as working capital, he said. Most bank loans require up to 400 percent collateral but the development fund assumes more risk, he said.

“It’s more flexible with no equity requirement,” Long said.

There is no deadline to apply and the loans are awarded until the fund is exhausted, he said. If the development fund is unable to fund an entire project it can partner with financial institutions, he said.

“It was really easy,” Sundeen said of the loan application process. “Scott was very accomodating for us.”

Sundeed said that in addition to transitioning her own clientele to the new location, some parents of a recently closed day care are also coming to Sunny Days Daycare. For more information, contact Sundeen at 269-1029.

(701) 952-8455

No one will be living there but the new day care is still in a home environment and so it’s more comforting for the children.

– JUDY SUNDEEN, owner, Sunny Days Daycare