Full business name: Little Inspirations Child Center
Address: 7039 10th Street North
Owners: Kelli Mauer and Jamie Hamm
Number of employees: Two
Open date in Oakdale: Feb. 18
Hours of operation: Mon-Fri, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
A new child care center is moving into the building that once housed the Tooterville Learning Center, which closed last summer. Little Inspirations Child Center takes children from 6 weeks old to kindergarten entry. The owners, Kelli Mauer and Jamie Hamm, have worked in the day care business for eight years, with Mauer having worked at Tooterville and Hamm having worked for KinderCare.
Little Inspirations Child Center is now enrolling. Oakdale Patch caught up with Mauer and Hamm about their new child center, which is slated to open on Feb. 18.
Oakdale Patch: Tell me about your childcare center.
Mauer: We kind of wanted it to be a home-like setting. We want parents to feel like they are getting the best quality care and best affordable care. We want their children to feel safe and the parents to feel safe bringing them here.
Oakdale Patch: How is your day care center set apart?
Mauer: We are privately owned as opposed to KinderCare, which is corporately owned. When parents have questions they go straight to us as opposed to going through the top dogs. We get to go on field trips and parents can come along. We have a lot more parent input versus other places. We strive to keep putting new information into our teachers’ brains and make sure we are teaching them things as well as having them teaching their classes things. Keeping teachers up to date on education so that they can help kids and parents with help and advice.
Hamm: I think to know that Kelli and I are a team. We’re friends — not just two people picked to work together. We’re a package deal and we even each other out and we think the same, so that’s a plus.
Oakdale Patch: What made you want to open your day care in Oakdale?
Mauer: We both worked in childcare for about eight years and we always wanted to open our own center. I actually used to work at Tooterville and I found out that they were closing and we liked the building and location, so we just went with it.
What’s the difference between a childcare center and a day care?
Mauer: I would think they are the same thing, but with us we are more curriculum-driven. For preschool, we want them to be ready for kindergarten and not just playing all day. Although, they still get to play, but they also get curriculum involved with it.
Oakdale Patch: What is your price range for your service?
Mauer: It’s different for each age group, but the highest rate is $265 and lowest is $105.
Oakdale Patch: What has made you stick with childcare for eight years?
Mauer: I started as a teacher and I loved teaching kids and loved seeing them learn. When I moved up to the management part of it, it was nice to know that you are the one providing quality care for the parents and the kids love and trust you. They count on you so much and it is so great to be able to provide that.
Hamm: One reason I love working with kids is that you get to see what you taught them and see them grow. You see them as an infant and going into kindergarten, going into the ‘real world’ with kindergarten, good heart-warming feeling to see what you are teaching them and seeing them putting what they’ve learned into their every day lives.