By Gwen Rockwood, mama of 3
Today we welcome a new sponsor to the website. It’s the first child-care business we’ve ever featured on this site, and we know how HUGELY important it is for moms to have good child care for their kids. It’s called The Kids Studio, and it’s located at 5500 Pinnacle Point Drive in Rogers, not far from Debbie’s Family Pharmacy and the Church at Pinnacle Hills.
A few weeks ago, I sat down with owner and fellow mama Robyn Brooks to find out how she has made her business the kind of place local moms want to know about. Her qualifications and experience are impressive, and her answers to my questions are, too. Read on.
You’re a busy mom of two. Why did you want to start a childcare business?
In short, to fulfill a dream I had all my life. From a very young age, I dreamed of being a teacher. I can’t think of a time in my life when I was not babysitting, working in the nursery, or teaching a Sunday school class. So when I pursued a degree, it was centered on instruction of children.
After school, I got married and got a job in the Rogers Public School system as a kindergarten teacher. I enjoyed teaching. It was my passion. After two years of teaching, we started our family, and I believed I would just return after maternity leave. I’ll never forget the first day I had to go drop off my baby to someone else to watch and care for. That day illustrated how important childcare was for the first time ever. After that first year, I decided to stay home with my baby, but I never forgot how I felt that year, and the idea was born that I would take my skills and some day utilize them in a quality childcare.
Over the last 10 years, my husband and I have been praying that God would show us what our ministry needed to be, perhaps in this area or a business that we could operate together. As we continued to pray, God laid on our hearts childcare in a whole new way. I believe caring for someone’s child is one of the greatest honors ever. My love for kids, my passion to teach, my experience of being a parent and my desire to minister to families is what drove us to open The Kid’s Studio. It is a great privilege to help families of young children with some of their first academic learning experiences and provide a foundation upon which they can excel in kindergarten and elementary school.
In what ways is The Kids Studio different than many of its competitors?
- We are a Christian based center.
- We concentrate on building a relationship with each of our families as we partner with them in loving and caring for their children.
- We understand each family is different and will in every way possible accommodate the customary habits with their children.
- We strive to make the center environment a happy, peaceful place through attending to each child’s specialized needs.
- We provide “Studio At Night” every other month for our parents to facilitate time alone for our parents to relax and enjoy their adult relationships.
- We provide focused activities which include: music, art, and computer learning.
- We do special programs throughout the year to highlight all that the children have learned.
- We welcome our parents to come and go anytime.
What is “character-based learning”?
Character-based learning means we teach character through every aspect of our day. The character traits we emphasize include obedience, self control, goodness, faith, honesty, responsibility, thankfulness, gentleness, sharing, kindness, politeness, joy, confidence, love, patience and peace. We believe every moment is a “teachable moment.”
Describe your curriculum and/or approach to learning.
Our approach to learning concentrates on making available developmentally appropriate activities and materials for the children in our program. We believe that children’s play is a primary vehicle for and indicator of their mental growth.
During a tour of The Kids Studio, what would I see?
- Smaller infant rooms to keep ratios low
- Three fun themed large classrooms
- Teachers interacting with children as they are teaching
- A commercial grade kitchen where breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack is prepared.
- Children enjoying learning and having fun at the same time.
Why did you feel it was important to do home-cooked meals? How do you handle allergy issues?
Having a home cooked meal makes a child feel more at home while in our care. And it provides every child with the same meal so others don’t feel left out. We also can ensure a balanced meal for the children with at least 3 daily food group requirements during lunch. Children with allergies are welcome to bring a meal from home, or we will provide a substitute item for them. (Example- a child with a milk allergy cannot have mashed potatoes, so they will receive corn or green beans instead.)
What is the most challenging part of running your own business?
The most challenging part is trying to keep up with all the paperwork as well as help out in a classroom when needed. I don’t just sit in my office and listen to the children cry. If things get hectic in a classroom, I go to help.
What does an “ideal day” at work look like? What does a day at work look like?
I begin my day by dropping my kids off in their class (which they love to go to), then I check on all the rooms to see if they need anything and find the Director to get an update on anything I need to know, since she’s the one there when the Center opens. Then I start on the paperwork that needs to be done. Of course, that doesn’t last long until I’m needed somewhere in the center or the phone or doorbell rings!
I spend my afternoon greeting parents and giving tours. My husband joins me when he gets off work at his job, and he helps me with answering the door so I can finally start my paperwork. And I finish (if I’m lucky) about 7 p.m. and get to go home. 🙂
What are the top three things you want local moms to know about The Kids Studio?
- This is a ministry and a passion to us, not just a business.
- We love all children like they are our own.
- Our desire is to cultivate a solid learning foundation for children to help them excel in life.