Today is our one year anniversary of opening the doors at Full Heart Child Care. As the director of this amazing center, I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on the past year. In order to do that, we need to go back a little further than that. After months of renovations and inspections, paperwork and licensing (and more licensing), we were ready to start touring families and hiring teachers. I knew that we were creating a program that I believed in, that we would provide quality, individualized care, and truly become a part of the village that it takes to raise children.
However, there was a fear as well. Fear that I was asking teachers to leave their jobs for a new career that wasn’t yet established. Fear that it wouldn’t be the best location for families. Fear that we would not fill up quickly. Fear that running a new business would prove to be too much for me. Fear that what Mandy and Ed Gigliotti and I believed in so much would fail. As it turns out, I wasted a lot of time being afraid. I hired a small group of teachers that were as committed as I was to make Full Heart a success. Natalie, Colleen, and Marissa, who have been here since day 1, have shared and implemented our vision with the families that they serve. They were trained and ready to go!
May 1, 2017, we opened our doors for the very first time. We served just one infant and three toddlers each day for that first week. The next week, we had two babies and four toddlers. By the summer, we were filling up rapidly and knew we were ready to open a second infant and toddler room, as well as preschool. Many new teachers were brought on board, including Sarah, Sylvia, Maya, Elese, and Nina, who are all still with us today! My heart was happy. Fall rolled around and a wait list began. I was completing up to fifteen tours per week and it finally hit me. Full Heart was not only going to be a successful business, but it had become exactly what we wanted it to be. Erin, Lana, Betsy, Taylor, Hope, Natalya, and Rene’ round out what makes this place so special.
I wake up in the morning and I WANT to go to work. With any career, there are challenges of course. We deal with rough days, teething, children finding their own way in the world, falling down, and getting back up again. But, we also see first steps hear first words. We see children overcome fears and we see them grow (physically and emotionally). As I walk through the building each day and hear things like “You can do it,” and “Can I help you build that,” I know that I am so very blessed to be here. It is truly an honor and a blessing that I do not and will not take for granted. The children in this program are loved and cared for as if they are our own children and we will continue to do so for years to come.
May 1, 2018. As I write this in my office, I can hear the toddlers outside my office door. They are learning all about lemons today. I can hear their expressions as they taste it for the first time, and I can hear the teachers encouraging them to explore their senses. “How does it feel?” “What color is the lemon?” “How does it taste?” “Look what happens when you squeeze the lemon!” On this day, I am the luckiest one of all. I am surrounded by loveable children and those that have chosen to love them. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you, Ed and Mandy, for giving me this opportunity. Thank you, teachers, for being so dedicated and loving.
Thank you, families, for trusting us with your babies and letting us be part of your village!
Full Heart Child Care