In 1989, I made a decision that changed my life IMMENSELY! I resigned from my job as a 5th grade teacher and opened a small preschool/elementary school to serve our community and particularly my first child of three years old!
The first year the center enrolled ten students and only five paid. I just needed the warm bodies...or least my three year old needed the companionship. The second year the enrollment increased to 20 and everyone paid. The third year the enrollment skyrocketed to 52! I was busier than a squirrel hunting for food in the winter!
Was the venture easy? NO!! Was it worth the effort? YES!!!! However, I do believe that the pace of the company's success would have been much easier and void of many of the costly mistakes I made to reach a place of notable success, if I would have had professional support. I could never understand why my child care cohorts were not willing to work together for the common good of us all. We all stood to be more successful if the more experienced providers would have been willing to mentor the new providers. It made sense to me especially when I considered that not one center could serve all of the children in the city.
I never hesitated to assist anyone with their issues, even to the point of writing their grants to help them get much needed funding. However, the barriers that separated us was much stronger and higher than I was able to cross.
My center prospered immensely and as I write this story I am pleased to say that thirty (30) years later, the little three year old that inspired me to step out on a limb to make a difference is now the Director of the center with an enrollment of 170 children.
In my retirement I have committed myself to assisting child care Directors with their issues by using my proven experience and successes and failures to direct them, mentor and support them as they strive to meet their goals ... with the ultimate goal of us all enjoying the process.