Ms. Yenny has always wanted to open her own home daycare because, quite simply, she just really loves kids. For the last five years, being her granddaughter’s primary care provider has reminded her of the fun and the joy that can come from little discoveries and small pleasures.
“Right now, my granddaughter is five, and I see her singing all the time,” explains Ms. Yenny, who has two grown children and speaks of her young granddaughter with great joy. “We put on music and sing and dance together, and she loves it. It’s so much fun to watch her express herself in that way.”
This joy, a love of children, and a lifelong desire to dedicate herself entire to children inspired Ms. Yenny to open her own home daycare in Haverhill, MA. The program is named for her two grandchildren whose curiosity and energy motivate Ms. Yenny. “We do a lot of gardening together,” explains Ms. Yenny of one of her favorite activities to share with her granddaughter. “It’s incredible to watch her observe and hear her share her discoveries. I also know that she really watches me. Sometimes she calls me over just to show me how she does something just like I do. The other day she said, ‘Look how I cleaned up! Just like you!’”
Ms. Yenny gets creative with children during free play at J&J Daycare.
Learning through experience is a key component of J&J Daycare, which will feature a combination of structured activities, discovery, and opportunities for children to express themselves. Ms. Yenny incorporates learning of content like letters and numbers in addition to broader concepts like family and how to take care of living things. “I have a dog named Teddy,” explains Ms. Yenny, “and as long as it’s okay with parents, kids will have opportunities to play with Teddy and learn how to be nice to animals.” The garden and kitchen are two more places where Ms. Yenny shines as a guide through experiential learning. J&J Daycare includes opportunities to help in the garden, take care of plants, and make daily observations as they change. Additionally, Ms. Yenny loves to make cooking and eating fun. “I’m so excited to make fun breakfast menus sometimes,” shares Ms. Yenny about her plans for flower-shaped pancakes. “And sometimes I will teach kids to help with parts of cooking and baking that are safe for them.” Additionally, because Ms. Yenny speaks English, Spanish, and some Italian, she incorporates all three languages in her daycare schedule.
Art, music, and pretend are also central to the experience at J&J Daycare. There are designated spaces for art activities, playing pretend, and many other activities in the downstairs section of Ms. Yenny’s townhome that is designed to feel welcoming and comfortable for children. “My granddaughter always wants to sing and dance,” explains Ms. Yenny, “and I want the kids here to have that much fun and also express themselves.” She goes on to describe the pride she took in decorating the space in which kids will enjoy that self expression. “People come here and tell me they want to be little again,” says Ms. Yenny. “Kids come in and they can tell the space is for them.”
As a NeighborSchools Provider, Ms. Yenny has a team of childcare and FCC experts helping her secure her license (Family Child Care Providers are licensed through Massachusetts’s Department of Early Education and Care), design her daycare, market her services, and manage her business systems. That team will continue to support J&J Daycare as Ms. Yenny settles into her new role and welcomes families into the program. “NeighborSchools is the best,” says Ms. Yenny of her experience so far. “I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but now I have my dashboard, and I have all the steps to follow. I thought I was finished when I did all my training, but this is a long process, and they make it possible. The guy who came to take my pictures at my house even helped me figure out what I needed to do on the computer!”
With NeighborSchools’ help, Ms. Yenny looks forward to fulfilling a lifelong dream. “My granddaughter gets so excited and really loves the activities we do together,” she explains. “I want J&J Daycare to be a place where lots of kids can feel that much joy.” Check Ms. Yenny’s home daycare to see photos and hear what parents are saying!