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Motor City Match winner overcomes disability to establish quality childcare center in Detroit neighborhood

Oct 4, 2023

  • Hooked on Books Childcare is dedicated to giving children the guidance and care to grow and develop
  • The center offers sensory play, early mathematics, art and more to meet the developmental needs of children
  • Owner Yolanda Massey’s journey with epilepsy led to the creation of the center
  • Hooked on Books Childcare is the 161st Motor City Match business to open
  • Motor City Match has awarded $14.3M in cash grants; 82% of overall winners are minority-owned businesses and 71% are women-owned

OCTOBER 4, 2023 (DETROIT) Hooked On Books Childcare celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, City dignitaries and community supporters. The new facility in The Eye neighborhood offers accessible and quality childcare options for families in this revitalizing community.

Hooked On Books Childcare is committed to holistic child development and provides a safe and enriching environment where children can learn, grow and thrive. The center offers a comprehensive range of programs, including sensory play, early mathematics and art, to meet the developmental needs of children from infancy through age 5.

“Opening Hooked on Books Childcare has been a dream come true for me. It’s not just a childcare center; it’s a place where children can grow, learn and thrive in a loving environment,” said owner Yolanda Massey. “I’ve faced my own challenges, and this journey has been about giving back to our community and providing children with the strong foundation they deserve. I’m truly excited to be a part of Detroit and look forward to making a positive impact in the lives of our young ones.”

The center strongly emphasizes nutrition, offering balanced meals and snacks prepared with fresh ingredients. This focus on healthy foods ensures children receive the nutrients they need for optimal growth and development.

“Early childhood education is so critical to developing a child’s full potential and we have a great need for neighborhood centers like Hooked On Books to serve our families,” said Duggan. I am so proud of Yolanda for following her passion to open her new business and Motor City Match for helping her dream come true.”

Massey’s dedication to nutrition arises from a deeply personal journey. Confronted with a diagnosis of epilepsy that led to a pause in her pursuit of a career as an interior designer, she shifted her focus to caring for her nieces and nephews full-time. During this period, she embraced a predominantly plant-based diet to manage her seizures. The transformative impact was undeniable, prompting Massey to weave together her enthusiasm for childcare and nutrition, creating her own daycare.

“With the help of Motor City Match, Ms. Massey is creating another safe space for children to thrive in District 1. Like many Detroiters, Yolanda has been able to turn obstacles into building blocks,” said James Tate, City Council President Pro Tem, District 1. “We are proud of what she has been able to accomplish, and her triumphant story makes her an amazing example to the rest of the community.”

The childcare center, located at 24532 West McNichols, is supported by a $40,000 grant from Motor City Match. The funding helped Massey elevate her services, facilitating the transition from an at-home daycare to a standalone facility with enhanced building renovations. Massey worked with Detroit-based contractors, including Something New Painting and Renovation, LLC. and Detroit Fence Company, to renovate her space.

In the future, Massey has plans to expand her staff and hopes to offer 24-hour childcare for families.

“Yolanda’s journey is truly inspiring, and because of her, we have the creation of an essential service that provides a loving and nurturing environment for children in and around the community,” said Sean Gray, vice president of Small Business Services at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, responsible for managing the Motor City Match program. “Her establishment underscores the invaluable impact small businesses can have on our neighborhoods.”

Through 24 rounds of Motor City Match:

  • Total cash grants: $14.3 million (Total leveraged investment: $87.9 million)
  • 82 percent are minority-owned businesses
  • 71 percent are women-owned businesses
  • 67 percent are businesses owned by Detroit residents

About Motor City Match

Motor City Match is a unique partnership between the City of Detroit, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit (EDC) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Competitive financial assistance is supported by a broad partnership of Southeast Michigan community development financial institutions and corporations including, Bank of America, Fifth Third Bank, Ford Foundation, Hudson Webber Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, New Economy Initiative, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Motor City Match applications are available quarterly. More information is available at www.MotorCityMatch.com

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