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Success Stories

Tiny Tots Development Center

RVCDF helped Tiny Tots Development Center finance a new preschool and administration building to increase the number of families served in the community.

South Seattle resident Helen “Mama” Hicks founded Tiny Tots Development Center in her home in 1969 when she could not find quality care for her own two children. Mrs. Hicks came to the conclusion that the best care was going to have to come from her own efforts and initiatives. She quit her job at University Hospital and opened her home for three children to provide them with the best day care experience since affordable quality day care services were not available at that time for children of color.

Nearly 50 years later, Tiny Tots Development Center is a state-of-the-art day care facility serving more than 400 families and 235 children at six Seattle-area locations, with childcare services, preschool, early childhood, and after-school education in a nurturing environment that respects cultural diversity. Besides being one of the premier child development centers in South Seattle, Tiny Tots has partnerships within the community to promote healthy eating and lifestyles, provide families in need with free groceries and food, encourage high school students to gain employment and volunteer experience, and work with corporate sponsors to volunteer their time and assist with donations.

“Tiny Tots focuses on providing quality care in a diverse community with diverse staff,” says Executive Director Angelia Hicks-Maxie. “Children see staff that look like them and live in the neighborhood where we are located.”

Indeed, the organization provides free services to nearly 130 low-income families through the State of Washington Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program.

“We are a family,” says Angelia. “We love interacting with our families and knowing that we are positively influencing the lives of children in our community.”

However, Tiny Tots was in desperate need of a new preschool facility and main office for administrative staff. The center was in danger of losing a space it was renting for one of its preschools and faced steep resistance from traditional lenders, most having an aversion lending to nonprofit childcare centers.

“We had tried to do this project for seven years,” said Angelia. “But no one would loan to us.”

Financing from RVCDF allowed Tiny Tots to build a beautiful 5,100 sq. ft. two-story facility adjacent to its main facilities, with two classrooms, lobby/registration area, health screening area, a conference room, and staff office space.

“Our loan representative was awesome,” said Angelia. “He assisted us with every detail, and we have grown so much from his help. We now view ourselves as a full social service agency not just a childcare provider.”

Tiny Tots looks forward to working with RVCDF again when it’s time to renovate its main facilities.


235 children served—95% are minorities from low-income families
36 full-time and 4 part-time jobs retained
6 full-time jobs created
15% increase in revenues

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