About Us

We desire to grow and are willing to commit to exploring alternative solutions.

The BLI addresses the issue that early learning is an industry of small businesses and the success of these “businesses as businesses” play dramatically into the success of the children these businesses serve as well as the economic vitality of the community at large. We invest thought and imagination into the business and people side of the childcare equation. Our program assumes that owners and operators of early learning centers and home-based childcare businesses are not only childcare practitioners but also social entrepreneurs. Business operators with a social purpose who are struggling with success and maybe constrained because they have limited or no formal business training but are good problem solvers. We understand that resources are never as important as resourcefulness.

“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.”

– Richard Bach, Author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull


We recognize the fundamental impact early learning has on the health & well being of our community.

The Business & Leadership Institute for Early Learning (BLI) is committed to building a platform where private and public business leaders, public policy decision makers and early learning childcare center and home based business owners, operators and educators gather and explore the business of the childcare industry and its ability to provide quality early learning given the current industry climate, the struggle for profitability within socio-economic realities and the independent center and home based owners’ business acumen.


We aim for every child to have every opportunity.

The Business & Leadership Institute for Early Learning (BLI) is committed to exploring the industry of early learning childcare center and home based businesses.  Its purpose is to determine the business owner’s capacity to deliver quality education and care, given their business acumen and current industry circumstances, and help them work towards a sustainable business with increased revenues.  We look to empower providers as business professionals who are building healthy sustainable businesses and engaging the greater business community as equals.

What We Do

  • Builds a network of individuals from various professional business sectors in an effort to combine the best business minds and best business practices to find innovative early learning industry specific solutions to current and future environments.
  • Empowers the small business owner through on-going mentoring, resources, and accredited business/leadership related educational training sessions facilitated by leading subject matter experts.

“Solving a problem is hard enough; it gets that much harder if you’ve decided beforehand it can’t be done.”― Steven D. Levitt, Think Like a Freak

Who We Serve

Owners, directors, administrators and those responsible for the daily business of an early learning center or home based early learning program; Early learning directors, administrators or entrepreneurs who would like to open an early learning center; Selected early learning childcare students currently enrolled in B.A., masters or graduate studies in the field of early education.

Our Story

We seek to find a better way.
Robyn Fern Perlman, Founder & President BLI

Allow me to share my journey through the business of early childcare.  During my eight year tenure on the Board of Directors of the Early Learning Coalition (ELC) of Broward County I discovered that many childcare centers and home based businesses were not making a profit and were mostly run and completely staffed by women who earn not much more than minimum wage for an entire career.  However the extent to which providers were contributing financially to the early childcare and education system was astounding equaling millions of dollars annually by keeping children enrolled with uncollectible fees and undercharging for services due to the inability to establish fees that parents in their district could afford to pay.

Essentially the providers, especially serving low-income and children in underserved communities were “subsidizing the government subsidies. ” They were also the first source of support for those parents who were most recently out of work, just coming off poverty tax rolls, or low wage workers who are not eligible for government assistance but cannot possibly cover the cost of childcare out of their pay checks.

But as a small business owner myself, of equal concern were findings that suggested early childcare centers were not generating enough revenue to allow many owners, even though this is their primary business activity to take a salary.  In addition, they would not be able to contribute towards their social security, unemployment benefits or, provide health insurance benefits for themselves or for their employees.

Whether this was due to poor fiscal management, inability to collect fees, low enrollments, inadequate use of real estate, unfavorable lease negotiations or other business challenges, it is indicative of an industry in which the business of being a small business is almost never discussed.

As part of a larger discussion I asked myself at what point in time did childcare become formalized early learning?  Furthermore, have we sufficiently examined and allocated the additional resources to childcare providers when we are now insisting that they be responsible for a child’s first outcome based educational instruction?

The BLI is a consortium of early learning providers, community partners and individual advocates who have come together to create a new dialog of understanding among the early learning provider community, the corporate sector, public policy makers and institutions of higher learning.  We educate through our Master Class Series, Conference, and Alumni programs; advocate through our partnerships and advise with a fresh innovate look at the situation.

“Doing more of what doesn’t work won’t make it work any better.” –
Charles J. Givens, Author of Wealth Without Risk