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Mom opens new daycare in the Valley

Dec. 14, 2012 @ 10:55 AM

TEAYS VALLEY — Sometimes we find what we were destined do when we least expect it. Rachel Bailey is a good example. The Nitro resident gave birth to premature twin boys a year ago. Like most new mothers, she was finding it difficult to locate a day care that reflected her personal values and budget.

Having worked in her mother’s day care for six years before going off to college, she had a good working knowledge of the day care system and how it should be run. Then it occurred to her, “Why not me?” After some consideration, she began to investigate the possibility of having her own child care business.

Of course, the No. 1 question when considering a new business is location. The building would need to be roomy, safe, and not too expensive. The answer wasn’t as difficult as she would have thought. In speaking with Associate Pastor Bethany Carr at her church, The Teays Valley Church of the Nazarene, she learned the church building could be a possible location for the day care. With that problem solved, she sat down with an advisory team that included pastors, an occupational therapist, teachers and nurses, who helped her choose people who would best provide the children with the highest quality of care. In addition, the group aided her in developing a curriculum and standards for the center.

Bailey employs three full-time workers and one who works part-time. All four have passed the required background checks.

“It (the number of employees) will increase as we bring more kids in,” she said.

Although the day care is located at the back of the church, it is not owned by the church. The business is owned by Bailey.

Breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack are served every day. Bailey, who is particular about the food she gives her own children, serves fruit, vegetables or yogurt for snacks and uses organic food as much as possible. Foods with red food coloring are never served.

“That was a lesson learned the hard way after a long sleepless night with two very hyper boys,” she said.

As a matter of fact, to ensure that all the nutritional needs are met, a registered dietician reviews the monthly menus and is available to consult on children with special dietary requirements. The day care also employs a full time social worker.

“She will be working directly with the kids,” Bailey said.

They accept both Connect and Link programs, and will work closely with the church’s clothing ministry to ensure a child has clothing if he or she needs something.

All children must have an up-to-date vaccination record before staying at the childcare facility.

“That just protects all of the other kids at the center,” Bailey said.

Free tutoring is available to children if parents request it, and they are hoping to offer opportunities in other areas such as music (piano and guitar) and sports. With several slots for babies already reserved, Bailey encourages those needing day care for their little ones to get in touch with her quickly.

“Unfortunately our toddler space is limited, so those interested need to call me as soon as possible,” she said. After-school day care is offered for children younger than 13.

Bailey, 27, is originally from Marmet and graduated from West Virginia University Institute of Technology and worked previously as a respiratory therapist with Medi Home Care. In addition, she worked in mother’s day care from when she was in 10th grade until she began college.

“I worked in all aspects of the business, planning the lunch menu, daily activities and planning field trips — plus all of the fun stuff,” Bailey said.

When she was 21, her mother passed away, and she became the legal guardian for her sister Baylee, who is now 11. She lives in Nitro with her husband, Luke, their twin sons, Maxwell and Aaiden, and her sister Baylee.     

Bailey said she is looking forward to giving children a safe and caring environment. She invites anyone who is interested to tour the facility and meet the staff.

“We want them to feel welcome. We know their expectations because they are my expectations — because I’ve been in their shoes,” she said.

Cornerstone Academy, located at 3937 Teays Valley Road, Hurricane (beside Chapman Funeral Home) will have an open house/parent’s night out on Friday, Dec. 14, from 6 to 9 p.m. In keeping with the Christmas holidays and to celebrate the opening, the day care will present “A Night on the Polar Express.” The evening will consist of the Polar Express movie, snacks, children acting parts from the story, and crafts. Bailey encourages parents to tour the facility and leave their children for two or three hours to finish their shopping or to enjoy an evening out.

The cost is $10 per child. For more information on the day care or to make a reservation for Friday’s “Night on the Polar Express,” call 304-437-4483 or email her at Rachel.bailey5@yahoo.com. Those who register their children on Dec. 14 to begin coming to the day care facility will have their registration fee waived.