Monday, August 20, 2012

Aspen Leaf Preschool

I was looking over my blog posts and realized it's been over two months since my last one! Since that last post back on June 8th I've been super busy setting up my own school, Aspen Leaf Preschool.

After months of searching for the right location, we came across this beautiful house in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego. I fell in love with this location as soon as I saw it. The picket fence and blue shutters gave it the homey feel I wanted my school to have.
When I decided to do this, I had no idea how much time and work would go into it. My fiancé (who is also my business partner in this venture) and I have given up all of our weekends in July and August and devoted all of our free time to renovating the building and yard, putting together our licensing application, and setting up the business. Now that things are finally starting to come together, I will hopefully have time to blog again. Over the next few days, I plan to write about the process of turning our building into a school.


  1. That's amazing! I went to SDSU and majored in Child & Family Development. I hope to open up my own preschool some day (probably a long, long time from now) but I have no idea where to start! Any tips or advice for me? Was it a long process?

    1. Hi Meliza,

      Thanks so much for your comment! First of all, yes it was quite a long process. Before we could even apply, we had to decide that opening a business was something we were willing to commit to, then we had to save up money for the business, locate a property that was zoned for a child care center, negotiate to rent the property, and figure out everything else that we needed to do to get a license from the state.

      Since you're not planning on starting your own business any time soon, I would say that absolutely the most important thing for you to do right now is to learn as much as you can about working with children. Fortunately for me, my first job in a preschool was at a well-run, supportive school. I worked with some amazing teachers who taught me so much, and who recommended helpful books about children. So my advice is to find a great school to work at, and develop relationships with teachers who make you think, "I want to be able to teach like that." Learn from those people, read books, and just do everything you can to become the best teacher you can possibly be.

      Then start to learn about what it takes to run the business side of the preschool by asking the director or owner specific questions (what do you say to prospective parents, how do you keep track of receipts, etc.). Also, learn about the laws affecting preschools--ratio, physical space, etc.

      There's so much more that goes into opening your own preschool that I could fill a book, but for now I'll just say that the single most important thing you can do right now is to focus on the kids you're working with, and never stop working on becoming a better teacher.

    2. Thank you for taking the time to reply to me! I really appreciate it! I have worked as a teacher at 3 different preschools schools now. My time at each school has helped me realize what I want/do not want in a preschool but I know I still have a lot to learn and experience. I will definitely take your advice and keep on improving my skills as a teacher. Any book recommendations for me? Again, thank you so much!

    3. I didn't find any books about opening a preschool that were very helpful. What I did find very useful was a book called Birthing the Elephant by Karin Abarbanel and Bruce Freeman about being a female entrepreneur. Another book I have been using is Solutions for Early Childhood Directors: Real Answers to Everyday Challenges by Kathy H. Lee. This book has great solutions for all of the everyday problems that arise when you are running a preschool.