The recession is stretching family's budgets and forcing parents to take a closer look at how they pay for child care. Nationally, day care centers are having a tougher time collecting bills, but it is still an attractive business for some.
In a recent survey, the childcare website Sittercity.com found that more than a quarter of stay at home parents plan to go back to work because of the economy.
That means more money coming in, though more may go out to pay for child care.
"Quality day care is really the basis for going back to work, especially for two parent families that are working," says Dennis Brown, with the nonprofit Connecticut Community Investment Corporation. He ran a workshop this week at the Hartford Public Library about how to start a profitable child care business.
"It's very important they make money, otherwise they won't do it for long," he says.
Darnel Quinones-Mojica and his wife Dalia were among the dozen people who showed up.
"It is something we want to do, to give back to our community," Darnel Quinones-Mojica says. "We want to help out low-income families, especially the young teenage mothers."
They said they've been thinking about it for some time. The economic downturn made the need feel more urgent. Then, Darnel lost his job at a warehouse last month.
"He has the time now," his wife Dalia laughed.
"Yeah, I have the time to look and to do all kinds of stuff," he says.
The couple say they hope to open their day care center by the end of the year.
Two others at the workshop said they were there because of uncertainty about their current jobs. Both were employees of the Hartford school system who fear losing their jobs due to budget cuts.