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Cheryl Thomas

Advances in Child Care

By Sharon James

C’s Daycare is advancing by leaps and bounds.  One of the local entrepreneurs assisted by 4-Directions Development (4DD), Cheryl Thomas has been shaping herself into a highly educated childcare provider with a diverse menu of services and opportunities.

 

Cheryl along with her husband Greg started C’s Daycare in July of 2014.  Ever since then she has been working through the struggles of a small business on the Reservation but has never given up.

 

Childcare was her second option when she first started working with 4DD on her business ideas. She came in with several business ideas (like any typical entrepreneur does) that she felt the community needed.  Her first selection was a coffee shop.  However, she soon found she wanted to pursue the childcare business instead.  The need was there, and she had experience working with children.

 

With approximately 75% of her customer base being foster children, her knowledge on how to work with special needs children has helped her flourish.  Her childcare center provides a safe, stable environment, with the consistent routine children need as they grow and advance in the learning stage of their life.  She and her staff enjoy providing this service for the children, and for the children’s parents.  She stated, “it is very rewarding.”

 

One of the services provided is the social and emotion education Cheryl and her staff provide.  Cheryl is grateful that she has been able to pursue her passion as a teacher and has elevated her ability to teach children while caring for them by obtaining various recognitions and awards for her achievements.  They include:

  • A Three-Star Rating (soon to be 4-Star Rating) from the Minnesota Department of Human Services Parent Aware Program, by using best practices that prepare children for school and life.

  • A Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential from the Council for Professional Recognition through an assessment by the CDA National Credentialing Program.

  • A Certificate of Achievement from the Achieve MN Center for Professional Development for completing all Step 5 requirements on the Minnesota Career Lattice. 

  • A Certificate from the Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children, an affiliate of NAEYC, in recognition of completing their Early Childhood Director’s Credential.

 

Cheryl wanted more knowledge as a teach in her childcare center and she went out and made it happen. She researched, learned all the ins and outs of the industry, and made connections with the resources available to childcare providers and parents.  If you are struggling with childcare as a parent, or maybe you want to start a day care of your own; talk with Cheryl.  She has some wonderful resources that might help you with childcare so you can get to work or school, or to help you become the next business owner in the community.

As I was talking with Cheryl I felt the passion, the desire, and love in working with our children.  On her staff shirts it says “when little people are overwhelmed by big emotions its our job to share our calm, not join their chaos”.  Her philosophy is to always be positive, even when correcting a child.  They don’t say “no” or “don’t”; for example, if a child is hitting, they turn it around and say “we use our hands for helping”.  It was so positive and moving, I found myself asking her for some tips when interacting with my own grandchildren.

 

With these resources and trainings, C’s Daycare is providing some stellar services for our children.  I cannot wait to see what else she has in store for the community.

 

Cheryl attributes her growth and success to many things and many people, but she wanted to thank her husband and family along with her staff, and the assistance from MnTrecc, First Childrens Finance, the Center for Inclusion, Parent Aware, and the Northwest Minnesota Foundation.  She has many coaches and advisors she works closely with, but one testimonial stuck out the most for her.  It was meeting up with an 8-year old child she cared for a while back and he said, “I miss you, you have the best day care; better than McDonalds!”

 

When asked what advise she would give new start up business owners, she said, “Get all the training you can, work on your credentials, and you have to spend money to make money, but be aware that you have to budget and manage your money in order to provide for your family while your business grows.  Put some dollars away when you can and think ahead to be able to pay your workers and business expenses, you can’t spend crazy just because you have money.”

 

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