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portrait of Wendell Kimbrough, CEO
  • Education and Service Non-profit
  • St. Louis, MO

ARCHS helps child care workers care for their own future

When it comes to shaping our future as a country and as individuals, child care workers play a big part. They help teach and lay an early education foundation for millions of kids.

Yet to Wendell Kimbrough, CEO of St. Louis-based Area Resources for Community and Human Services (ARCHS), child care workers often don't do enough to lay a foundation for their own future, especially when it comes to retirement. ARCHS is a St. Louis, MO-based not-for-profit that designs, manages, and evaluates 15 education and social service programs, including support for child care centers.

Retirement savings can seem out of reach for many child care workers who are often young, working for very small businesses (or self-employed), and without a lot of extra income. That's why Wendell is telling child care business owners about myRA®, a new retirement savings account developed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

"A wonderful opportunity" to start saving

"myRA is a wonderful opportunity for a community of employees who historically don't save, to start saving for retirement," said Wendell. "In some cases they haven't been exposed to retirement options, or don't see the advantage. myRA makes it so easy."

A portrait of Wendell

"myRA is a wonderful opportunity for a community of employees who historically don't save."

Wendell Kimbrough, CEO

Belinda Tyler is part of that community as the owner of Baby Steps Academy, a St. Louis child care center. Baby Steps employs a half dozen child care professionals, but has never been in a position to offer an employer-sponsored retirement option. For Belinda, myRA is a way her employees can get on the right path.

"As caretakers, sometimes we don't take care of ourselves," said Belinda. "I was happy to hear about myRA. I said, this will be a blessing. My employees need to know about this."

The simplicity and safety of myRA were motivating factors for Belinda. It lets workers contribute and build savings of up to $15,000 or for 30 years, whichever comes first. They can then transfer or roll over their savings to a Roth IRA at any time, where their savings can continue to grow. And myRA is safe, with no risk of losing money.

Spreading the word about myRA

Knowing the income level of child care workers and the needs of child care center owners, Wendell also was reassured by the flexibility myRA offers.

"There are small margins in child care, and you don't get in that business to be a millionaire," Wendell said. "They do it because they love children."

There's no cost to employers, and they do not administer or contribute to employee myRA accounts. Employees choose how much to save and can fund their account through payroll deductions, from a checking or savings account, or even from their federal tax refund at tax time.

It is an easy way to build up savings and earn interest. myRA is actually a Roth IRA, and shares the same annual contribution limits, withdrawal rules, and tax advantages of that type of individual retirement account.

Wendell has been spreading the word at trainings and conferences. Belinda, in turn, held her own meeting with her employees and did a group sign-up event.

"I truly believe, as we get the word out, this will be a great opportunity," Wendell said. "myRA is a great program. The simplicity is brilliant."

What others are saying about myRA

portrait of Michael

it feels great to be able to put money away for the future…

-Michael K.
portrait of Tim

As a business owner, it was exciting to be one of the first in the nation to share myRA…

-Tim Galea
Last updated 10/29/2015