By Eric Hawkinson
SOLON– Solon Learning Academy directors Kristin Struzynski and Emily Devereux said it’s a requirement for all employees to love kids.
“I could be here all day, everyday,” Devereux said.
“We are,” Struzynski said. “And we love it.”
The new Solon-based daycare opened on Aug. 5 at its new location on 201 Prairie Rose Ln. Solon Learning Academy has approximately 35 students signed-up, but the building has a capacity for 138 students. Currently, Devereux and Struznyski are working to reach the goal of filling all the slots.
Struzynski said they have been introducing themselves to the community by attending open houses, and Solon events, such as Beef Days. Much of the last six months have been a blur of planning and prepping, Devereux said, and they are now focused on growing the business.
One of the most effective ways people have learned about Solon Learning Academy, Struynski said, was through local hair stylist Sue Randall.
“She’s told everybody who sat down to get their hair done,” Struynski said.
They have a priority of establishing trust in the Solon community, and so both directors work tirelessly to reach the image they want for the learning academy. That means they are there 16 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Just as Devereux was explaining why they chose Solon as a perfect location in the Corridor between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, multiple babies in the nursery began to cry. Without skipping a beat, Struzynski and Devereux picked up a few toys and began tending to the wailing babies.
“You just need to entertain them all day,” Struzynski said, while seamlessly calming the crying children.
Throughout the day, children in the day care sing songs, create projects of art, and may even take a field trip to the apple orchard, or an afternoon stroll to the Dairy Queen down the street.
“It’s dangerously close,” Devereux joked.
The facility is built with adequate space for large group and gym activities, as well as intimate learning sessions. For the two directors, learning is the end-goal.
“We offer in-depth learning,” Stuzynski said. “We’re preparing kids for an easier transition to preschool.”