Day care owner plans to expand child care centers in Maryville, Tennessee

Daycare owner, Kristy Pittman, has worked in child care services since 2015, controlling and operating the initial TLC Foundation Station facility out of her personal residence in Maryville, Tennessee.

With dreams of being an elementary school teacher and even dedicating her studies toward that goal, Kristy became an infant teacher at a nearby church day care center where she’d excel to management and direct her passion elsewhere: business ownership. “I moved up rather quickly” she says, “The director there just invested in me and when she moved on, I took over for her at a center with about 120 kids.”

“Initially, I didn’t want to own, but after moving to a few more locations, I started to think I didn’t want to work for anyone either. I wanted to be able to help families and children without someone telling me ‘no’, so God lead me to do my get my own center. But opening was a nightmare!”

The building blocks toward a successful business

To move operations from her home to a new location, Kristy knew that she would need funds to officially open for business. At first, she sought out a bank loan, but then was referred to Pathway Lending to fund leasehold improvements and supplies for the new commercial location.

“My experience with Pathway Lending has been great! They weren’t like everyone else and wasn’t just a loan. They gave me a loan and said, ‘and how can we help and support you as well.’ That’s the cool thing about Pathway and that’s what convinced me.”

With a loan from Pathway Lending, Kristy was able to, not only open her new location, but also make improvements to the facility before opening. “Having to deal with state requirements were some of the biggest unexpected costs,” she explained. “We even had to get a $700 door for our mop closet because it was residential and not fire-rated!” Within the first 6 months of operation, TLC Foundation Station is exceeding its projected revenue targets.

More than fly-by-kite learning

After years of Kristy managing both large and small day care centers, care taking for nearly 250 children, The TLC Foundation Station has grown from Kristy’s home operation to a blossoming facility of learning for children aging from 6 weeks to 5 years old. Offering a hands-on curriculum in Math, Science, and other academics, Kristy takes pride in knowing that each child receives a unique early childhood education without the constraints of a typical classroom setting. “I get to help people without needing permission on how to help people.”

Most of her effort goes toward making sure children are emotionally supported as well as academically enhanced. “We teach positive behavior support because it focuses more on being proactive with behavior and teaching them how to use problem-solving skills and coping mechanisms for when they get upset.” And just like any other thriving business entrepreneur, she’s looking for ways to expand her passion in child care to meet the needs of many other children and families in her community.

As for the future of TLC Foundation Station, Kristy plans to introduce more positive behavior training to other teachers and caregivers in her community as well as training that helps teachers and caregivers deal with children who have experienced trauma. She’s been working to develop this training for years. “A lot of times, especially in our lower income areas, kids will come in and they look fine but you don’t know what happens at home. “

“It’s my heart and my passion to do this and create a trauma-sensitive environment, not just for my center, but for all the centers in my community.”

For more about Kristy’s child care services at TLC Foundation Station, visit her website by clicking here.

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