Before you decide to follow our blog, you might be wondering who we are! My name is Sara Balla and I am passionately dedicated to bringing quality preschool and childcare to Santa Cruz County. When I became a mom, I started looking under rocks for some kind of connection to other women beginning their journey into motherhood. Being Mommy was something I quickly learned couldn't be taught from books or websites or other Mommy blogs. I needed a village of women, the way it was supposed to be, working side by side, laughing and helping, cooing and bouncing, together. And I did; I found moms everywhere, starting at the Sutter New Moms Support Circle, MotherSong, Facebook, the parks, JuneBugs, the Farmers Markets, and everywhere in between.
At that time, I had been teaching third grade in the sweet and progressive school, Pacific Elementary in Davenport. Pacific staff holds this amazing balance of tradition and custom, while ironically appearing to have all of the most progressive ideas. I learned here that loving your co-workers and the children is really all it's about. Sprinkle that with ocean air, wholesome food, the banjo, and some Sharks and Minnows, you've got yourself the perfect paradise. Nothing could have dragged me away....until, Miss C, my beautiful baby girl.
Miss C taught me to sit still, to be grateful and to navigate life with priorities in mind. When she was just about to have her first birthday I very sadly quit my position at Pacific to open an in-home preschool, Discovery Preschool and Nursery. We opened our doors with an amazing staff and a truly beautiful environment. It was fun! So fun, in fact, that we decided to do it again, but bigger....
And now, here we are taking over the old Soquel Grange, historically a building designed to meet the multitude of needs in our community. It isn't easy... here's a few of the hurdles and hoops we needed to jump through:
1. Purchase a strip of land from Santa Cruz County
2. Obtain a use permit from Santa Cruz County
3. Obtain a State License for our Child Care Center
4. Create and Sign a lease agreement
5. Parking spaces??
6. Design the entire 4,000 square foot building and 1,800 square foot play ground
7. Find staff
8. Enroll 40 children
9. Add a children's bathroom
10. Breathe, smile, repeat
So, thank you for reading our blog and following our progress. Maybe you follow us because you're interested in childcare, maybe you're just curious about what it takes to open a center, or maybe you just want to know what the Ballas are up to these days!