By Sarah Shurge – On July 11th, a new daycare opened in Downtown Wayne. But not just any daycare, a 24-hour daycare. Tiny Stepping Stones Childcare LLC. is a child care agency that is open 24 hours, seven days a week.
Chyna Knowles owns an elderly care agency, Comforting Care LLC, that has been open and operating for two and a half years.
“I wanted to put something in place for care for my staff’s kids,” said Knowles. “Sometimes my staff couldn’t find a sitter and the elderly weren’t getting the care they needed. I provide excellence for everything I do, so I ended up creating a daycare, so my staff know their kids are safe and single moms can work.”
Being a single mom at one point, Knowles understood the troubles with finding a sitter, but especially if you have a difficult work schedule. Some single moms have to work overnight, so Knowles created a curriculum based center with around the clock care.
Tiny Stepping Stones Childcare has 24-hour-access to cameras. Parents can log into the Guarding Vision app access the cameras and see their kids at any given time.
“I was a single mom once upon a time and it’s hard. I knew access to cameras would ease that frustration or thoughts for parents,” said Knowles.
Tiny Stepping Stones also uses the Brightwheel: Child Care app that tracks and logs activities with each individual kid. It logs sleeping time, when the kid wakes up from their nap, when and what they ate, and what activities or learning lessons they did. It also logs when they went to the bathroom, potty training to work as a team with parents, how many times they’ve been diaper changed, and more.
“I found an app that specializes with our school curriculum, so parents can log on, see what their kid is doing, ask random questions, or ask for pictures throughout the day,” said Knowles.
Tiny Stepping Stones is a ‘learn with play, learn with movement’ family environment. Knowles states that “anyone that walks through the door, becomes a close knit family.”
The staff and kids have movie nights and daily trips to the local parks for outside time to get energy out in a productive way. The kids also go on field trips to the hands-on museum, water parks and splash pads, as well as trips to Hines Drive for the Christmas lights, Easter egg hunts, and trunk-or-treat for families.
“Our number one goal is to give kids a safe environment where they are happy they can come here and learn no matter what their situation is at home,” said Knowles.
Tiny Stepping Stones has a total of 15 kids enrolled since opening. They are allowed to have 55 kids in one setting shift, which is specialized by the parent’s hours needed/schedules. The staff shifts are from 7 a.m. -3 p.m., 3 p.m. -11 p.m., and 11 p.m. – 7 a.m. to provide around the clock care.
Prices range between $250-$320 a week depending on the child’s age and if they need full-time or part-time care. Examples are: An infant needing full-time care would be $320 a week. An 11 year old needing part-time care would be $250 a week.
Parents with infants must supply their own food, diapers, and wipes. Solid food for older kids is provided with three meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and three snacks a day.
“It’s been pretty amazing so far. We did an open house and had a ton of people that came,” said Knowles. “Searching for employees has been a little rough. We had 300 applicants but I’m extremely picky. I’m a mom of five and in school part-time. So when I do interviews, I am good at knowing if a person will fit correctly or not.”
Knowles is going to school full-time for a Bachelor’s in Nursing and part-time for an Early Childhood Education Development degree. She states that she couldn’t do this without the help from her staff in both agencies and her husband.
“I’m extremely blessed with everything that has come our way. To have a second business blow-up after being open such a short time is amazing,” said Knowles.
Tiny Stepping Stones went viral on Facebook, Ford Motor Company shared them on the Ford website and the Ford employee app, and Channel 7 News came on site on July 28th.
Knowles explained that Tiny Stepping Stones opened one day and on the next day had a meeting from Ford Company. She is hoping to partner with Ford in the future.
Tiny Stepping Stones is located at 4915 S Wayne Rd.
If you are interested in enrolling your child or looking for more information regarding Tiny Stepping Stones, you can visit tinysteppingstoneschildcare.org or call (734)858-7470.