When Miss Mimi’s Kiddie City opens this fall, it will be the neighborhood’s newest daycare in Hyde Park, MA—but with a seasoned professional at the helm. Miss Mimi’s Kiddie City owner and Daycare Provider, Meredith McDonough, has taught in the Boston Public School system for 17 years, most recently in a pre-kindergarten inclusion program.
“I just love young children’s curiosity and resilience,” says Meredith, who explains that her time teaching children with special needs opened her eyes to the vast potential for learning and growth. “Many children come into my classroom with an autism diagnosis, and parents are so worried about language and social development. But ironically, I find those pieces are the first to develop, and it’s such a joy to watch the children blossom as they gain friendships and learn how to express themselves.”
And that’s only the beginning of the ways Meredith’s decades of teaching will inform her daycare in Hyde Park. “We’ll have a lot of fun, but we’ll be learning every day,” she explains. “We’ll read books and discuss different story genres, visit the two nearby parks, prepare snacks together, and so much more. I especially love art projects—you can incorporate sensory play and learning, while also letting the kids creatively express themselves.”
“In my classroom, I taught kids about Picasso and Matisse, and we mimicked their styles,” Meredith shares. “I actually got four-year-old’s to talk about Picasso’s Blue Period!”
But of course, children don’t have to be aspiring artists to enjoy their time in Miss Mimi’s Kiddie City. “I think accepting children as they are, and encouraging them to do the same, is the most important thing,” Meredith explains. “For example, in many of my classrooms we’ve had four-year-olds who—for a variety of reasons—still wear diapers. I don’t want those kids to feel ashamed, so I always begin the year by explaining to the whole class how everyone learns things in different ways and at different times. Kids get that. In fact, many immediately respond with a story about how they learned something differently than their friends, like how they don’t ride a bike as well as their brother. It’s so important for kids to understand that everyone is unique.”
In launching her program, Meredith has combined her vast classroom experience with NeighborSchools’ family child care expertise. NeighborSchools is helping Meredith navigate the licensing process, complete her health and safety trainings, set up the business systems, and market her child care to local families. With this teamwork, Miss Mimi’s Kiddie City will open as a Licensed Daycare Provider, and Meredith can start serving and empowering local families.
Miss Mimi’s Kiddie City is now accepting applications. Children ages one to four years are welcomed, and the daycare schedule will follow the academic calendar, which is especially convenient for parents who are teachers or who work in academics. The program will provide full-day child care throughout the school year, with an extended holiday during July and August to allow parents time with their children during the summer break. Parents are encouraged to contact Meredith with questions about the schedule or any other aspects of her daycare.
“I’ve wanted to open my own daycare for a very long time,” says Meredith. “After years of following strict curriculums, I am thrilled to be able to be able to develop a unique program that supports the children in my care and fosters a community with their families.”
Click here to learn more about Ms. Meredith’s daycare in Hyde Park, MA, view photos, and read testimonials.
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NeighborSchools partners with experienced educators to launch world-class licensed home daycares. In supporting the creation of more small-scale child care programs, NeighborSchools helps increase access to high-quality daycares. Children benefit from lower ratios, greater continuity of care, and a nurturing home environment. Parents can discover and build a relationship with a Provider located right in their neighborhood. Providers get to launch the daycare of their dreams and earn a living wage, while working hands-on with young children every day.