Childcare Profile: Glorious Giggles
February 17, 2022
Getting a new childcare business off the ground at the same time that a global pandemic was keeping families with young children at home wasn't easy. But Laura Callaway, who takes pride in being understanding and flexible, persevered to make her family childcare a reality.
Starting Glorious Giggles in Brodhead was the culmination of many years of planning, Callaway said.
"I looked for many years for a house that would have space to start a family childcare. The bi-level home that I bought was perfect. I was able to set up the childcare on the lower level. After getting my furnishings and toys set up and my paperwork done, I was able to become a certified family childcare provider in February of 2020," she said. However, "it was difficult getting my business going because COVID-19 hit and people were staying home."
Callaway forged ahead and, at the end of 2021, she was able to be licensed. "Now I have plenty of children to take care of," she said.
Glorious Giggles, which offers both full-time and part-time care, encourages learning through exploration and free play. "We read and look at books, and play instruments while singing songs. I encourage children to initiate activities according to their interests. We practice taking turns, sharing and using our words to communicate. We talk about emotions and how different situations may cause certain feelings, and build relationships. We have fun while we learn," Callaway said.
There's a lot to keeping a family childcare like Glorious Giggles operating – in addition to caring for and providing educational opportunities for the children, there's cooking, cleaning, advertising, giving tours, completing paperwork, handling finances, and attending continuing education courses and keeping up with licensing requirements.
But Callaway knows that she is providing a service that's a vital component of the community fabric: Childcare is necessary for businesses to have access to parents in the workforce.
"Childcare helps parents to be able to go to work and to be able to provide the income they need for their family. It provides quality care for their children; a safe environment in which to learn and build friendships," she said. In addition, the childcare profession helps the entire community by building relationships between families and children, she said.
Being in childcare can be frustrating, Callaway acknowledged. There's a constant struggle to find a way to pay providers a decent income while keeping childcare affordable for families. "Financial gifts would be appreciated to help childcare providers be able to get through temporary closures due to COVID-19 and other illnesses. Financial gifts also help in acquiring quality equipment and toys that the children could use," Callaway suggested.
Despite a lack of financial reward, there are perks to being in the profession. Simple moments, like seeing two young children looking and giggling at each other while sitting in their high chairs eating, make her job rewarding. "It is fun watching the interactions between children," she said.