When Jennifer graduated from HGTC in 2012 her dream was to open a childcare center to help with children’s growth and development. Her dream went on hold for a while and then she contacted SCORE Grand Strand for assistance with starting a new business. She soon found out she was not equipped with the proper real estate or funding requirements. She researched other possibilities and started to entertain a different concept to childcare. Learn N Play was then developed as Myrtle Beach’s first drop-in childcare. The closest drop-in facility was in Charleston, SC. SCORE mentors assisted her with a checklist of what types of things she would have to check off before she opened her new business. Architectural representatives were suggested and she did a great job figuring out what she needed to do with regard to the Horry County requirements. Jennifer will readily admit it has been a struggle getting a business started while being a wife and mom, but she has persevered with ever-ending patience knowing full well her dream was desperately needed for young families in the Carolina Forest area of Myrtle Beach. Currently, LEARN N PLAY CHILDCARE is the only facility in the Grand Strand. Jennifer will employ two assistants and a bookkeeper.
Questions for Jennifer:
- What advice would you give about this experience?
- Make sure you do your research and know what is required to open a childcare. Also know that it is not easy to open a business, so have time and patience.
- How did your education assist you with your dream of opening a childcare facility?
- Knowing the impact that early childcare providers play in a child’s life was important to me and my education helped me prepare to impact children’s lives. When I was getting my degree at HGTC, there was a class towards the end that required students to create a business model with a budget. This helped me understand the process of starting a childcare facility.
- How would you describe your experience with your SCORE mentor(s)?
- My experience with SCORE has been amazing. The mentors have been really involved and helpful throughout the whole process.
- How did your passion for childcare help with your desire to open a facility?
- The impact we play on ages birth to 5 years are crucial in a child’s learning. Knowing this, made my decision easier because I want to help children in the community learn between these ages. While getting my degree, I was told that between ages birth to 5 years, “their brains are like a sponge” and this gave me the passion to pursue my career and open my own facility.