The Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads (SBDC) in partnership with Chesapeake R U Ready celebrated the graduation of 8 early childhood education centers on their completion of the Early Education Small Business Mentoring Program. The program is designed to assist childcare centers in improving profitability, increasing enrollment and adopting best business so that they can focus on providing high quality education. The Chesapeake graduation was held on September 30 in South Norfolk. Ben White, Director of Chesapeake Economic Development, was the keynote speaker and explained the importance of early education to the economic vitality of Chesapeake. The eight childcare centers participating is this program saw an average increase of 16% in enrollment with more than 450 children impacted by these centers. Centers included Deep Creek Baptist Church Preschool, Great Things Christian Childcare, Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church Pre-School, Mt. Lebanon Christian Academy, Mt. Pleasant Methodist Preschool, PROMOTE Family Preschool and Childcare, Milestones Child Development Center and Sandy’s Tender Care.