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Watch Us Grow Daycare


Owner: Jeresky Martinez and Manuel Calcano Linares
Location: Allentown, PA
Business: Daycare Center
Purpose of Loan: Business Opening and Expansion
Impact: Educational Opportunities


Watch Us Grow is a lifeline for parents in Allentown. It is more than a daycare, it is a cultural hub, a school and a haven for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years. Manuel and Jeresky, business partners trained in early childhood development, saw the need for a safe place for parents to drop-off their children. They had the vision to provide a high level of education and care for children in their community and so in 2016 launched Watch Us Grow.

In 2017, after one year of business, Manuel and Jeresky knew their business was viable, and necessary, but banks wouldn’t loan to them until they were more established. They were referred to Community First Fund and began working with lenders in the Allentown office – lenders who they now consider family. The guidance, technical assistance and funding provided by Community First Fund has been vital to their success. As they expand on their vision, and bring their ideas to fruition, Community First Fund continues to innovate and provide a wide range of specialty funding – SBA loans, BoB loans, and PPP loans in the pandemic.

Our capital, paired with their dedication and ambition, show in the impact and innovation of they have had over the past six years. They can now offer trustworthy childcare 7 days a week, with emergency drop-in service and state of the art security. As a level 4 childcare center, they are unique in that they function as daycare and elementary school, employing top talent – most of whom are Latinos. 98% of students are subsidized, and many receive all meals and snacks at the center. In 2021 and 2022 they closed loans to purchase and renovate additional locations in Allentown to expand their daycare and school, reaching additional students and providing a safe haven for children.