BY HAILEY MINTON
“The bathroom is this way. Here’s your popcorn…” All said with the warmth and kindness of a woman who cares about each child she talks to.
This is Shelly Bailey. She is the owner of On My Way Preschool and Daycare. On the day I spoke with her, she was on a field trip with 95 children. This was their biggest field trip yet, but the trips themselves are not uncommon occurrences. They go out three times a week.
“We’re not just babysitters. We are here to help kids grow and be successful in life. We’re developing their little brains! We have more awake hours with these kids than some parents do, and we take that responsibility seriously.” They try to do as good of a job as any parent would. Shelly said her best teachers and employees share the same vision as her. They are consistent, take ownership, and love the kids like their own. They want their facilities to be a home away from home.
They will soon be expanding to Pleasant View in August where they can care for up to 500 children. She is overstaffed at her locations in Roy and Clinton so she will take her seasoned teachers to get things established at their new location.
Trusting another person to care for your child can be hard, but Shelly has found ways for parents to stay in the loop. They have an app that logs everything from diaper changes to what activities the child has done. The teachers can even send pictures. Shelly also has an open-door policy for the parents, they are free to drop by and see their children any time.
The facility is a preschool, and they are focused on helping each child meet their developmental, academic, and social milestones. She has seen how children being with their friends and caring teachers can influence them in positive ways. Non-nappers start napping, and picky eaters start eating vegetables. It also creates a space for children to learn social skills and problem solve when toys inevitably get taken. The teachers guide them to help navigate their world in a positive way. Shelly sees some of the results of her team’s efforts when she runs into adults who used to be in her care. It always warms her heart when she hears an adult exclaim “Miss Shelly!” No doubt, she is happy to see them too.
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