I have an affliction. It's a type-A, overly ambitious personality. Sometimes it gets the best of me. Last week I decided to open a preschool in my community because there isn't one. There used to be a state preschool ran by the county, but it was for low-income families only and was three hours a day, which hindered enrollment, and the program was pulled. There are no centers in this rural part of the county. I put together a business plan (I've done this once before when Kacy was born, and it's always in my head) and thought about my different options. For profit or non-profit, both have different advantages and disadvantages. Where to house the full day program, what ages to serve- those two year olds in diapers are difficult. Especially if I had a room full of Eds. And then there is the demographics- ARE there enough kids to support a program? On this last question I emailed the superintendent/principal of Kacy's school because they mentioned on their website they have a concern about declining enrollment. All I wanted was some numbers. Instead, her reply is this: "We need to talk. Soon. We could get a grant for next year!" I slowly closed my laptop and stared out the window for a full five minutes. That was NOT the answer I expected. I talked it over with Ryan and then emailed her back explaining that I still had Jessie at home, and that any program I was a part of needed to accept two year olds so I can take her with me, and that it also needed to accept any income so that Ed could attend. We met today to collaborate. Unfortunately I was not on top of my game due to waking up at 4:30 am (thank-you Jessie) and not being able to fall asleep. Anyway, she really wants to have a preschool on campus and is tossing around ideas. She thinks she has a room to use. She has a file with some information from Riverside County she gave me. I read it, and it's a research report that has a few useful statistics in it. But mostly she has nothing. I took the file and didn't really know what to think. What is my role in this? She mentioned getting grants. Am I only a grant writer? I like to be in control and working in a preschool under state and federal guidelines can be stifling. And part of me really wants to own my own business. It's in my genes. But the other part doesn't want the sole responsibility for everything. I didn't know what to think of my newly changes plans. This morning I was all set to open my own preschool/daycare, and by 9:45am I was in the principals office having someone change my mind. By noon though, I was all set. The deciding "make me feel at peace" factor was Kacy's awards assembly. She got student of the month, and her teacher said some very nice things. I know I was a huge part in her being ready for Kindergarten, and I want to give the rest of my kids the same chance. It was almost like getting an "A" in being a good mom. I like "A's". So, it's come to this: I am going to volunteer my time to get a preschool at the elementary school. It's going to be a big project, and it will rely on funds that I will have to find, and if everything works out well, we will have preschool for all in our community. Looking at the file she gave me, I've got a lot of work to do, but I'm excited.
A shout out to Angie for watching my kids while I helped Kacy's teacher today and met with the principal. THANK-YOU!