was founded in 2004, first as a blog, as a simple way to get information across to parents in the
Albany, NY area. I wanted to provide information,
advice, and parenting humor to friends and others in my area. Since I was 12,
my passion has been to help families and children of all ages and abilities.
At the age of 15, I had my first child care job at a friend's in home child
care center. This is when I knew that this is what I wanted to do with my life.
I started taking some advanced courses in high school for early childhood development
and child psychology. I then took majored in Early Childhood Development and
Education in college and did an internship at the college day care. From there
I also got an Associates in Business, in which I graduated Magna Cum Laude.
I was originally going to start my own day care center, but I got pulled in
another way! I wanted to help families on an individual level.
I did take a short break until my first son, born in 1999, was 1. I then took
a lead teacher position at a preschool where he attended. I ended up at one
other center, before having my daughter in 2003. I took a couple years off,
trying to figure out what I could do for children and families, and still stay
home with my kids. So in 2005 I launched Creative Parenting, at the urging
of my local Attachment Parenting group
and several of my former parents at my previous preschool. I shortly thereafter
changed the name to Talk to me Baby, then Learn and Grow Together (after
moving to North Carolina), after some thought and a few votes from friends!
We moved BACK to New York in December 2009, and hope to get as wonderful
a customer base as we did in North Carolina!
I started with a small website through a free host, with parenting tips, local
events (Kindermusik, parks, fairs, schools holding carnivals, fundraisers,
healthy kid days (YMCA) and so on). I also listed local mom and dad support
groups. Shortly before moving to North Carolina, I became a Happiest Baby Certified
I had read this book when my daughter was a baby and found it very helpful, wishing
it was around when my first was born (though, he was and still is my best sleeper!).
I was very excited when I heard about the Educator Program, which was about
a year old by then, and immediately applied!! If I had stayed in NY, I would
have been a Kindermusik instructor
with an old Kindermusik studio, no longer around, called Cart
Wheels for Kids. I was asked to
join them and go through training, right before we moved. I am sure that would
have been fun too! I would have done it down here, if this are was not already
full of wonderful KI instructors!
Shortly after moving to North Carolina, I got an invitation from Wee
to become an instructor. Since I have used ASL in the past with both children
in my care as well as my own children, I jumped at this opportunity! This was
a perfect service to add to my ever growing business. I am very happy I went
with Wee Hands, as they only choose people for their instructors who have an
extensive ASL and Early Childhood background, unlike some other companies,
where you just pay a fee! I am considering a Montessori Certification at the
present time! I would alsolike a few of my own permanent residences for my
classes spread out through the Capital District.
Thanks to the help of my husband, Chris, I can get all the technical and
financial sides of my business
taken care of. (Except writing the website! I LOVE working with HTML!) I am lucky
to have a loving, supportive husband, who is willing to help out when needed.
(Which usually means he watches the kids when I have a night time class!)
I also have a ton of friends who have helped bring Learn
and Grow Together...together!
:) This includes Aisha at Gifts For All NC for
logos, advice and critiques. I would also like to thank Liberty Johnson
at Bee Square Virtual Assistants for
her AWESOME critique and help in making my website that much better for my
families! I would also like to thank all my business owner mamas at Moms
United in Business, LLC (Especially owner and founder, Jenn
Rogers) for the community support they give!