Being the oldest of seven children, Louise is no stranger to helping raise children of all ages. As a child development major at San Diego State University, she was an integral component in the development of a “kindergarten readiness curriculum” that was subsequently implemented in Head Start programs around the country. “Childcare is my passion, I love getting down and playing with the kids and doing activities. It’s satisfying to watch them learn new things,” she shared.
After her son Henry (pictured) was born, Louise sought a way to continue her passion of working with children while remaining a stay at home mom. It seemed only natural to start Green Beans and Little Sprouts, a healthy living preschool with an emphasis on hands-on education. Green Beans and Little Sprouts emphasizes the “Reggio Amelia” method of teaching, entailing that students have some control over the direction of their learning in a supportive and enriching environment. Louise plans to employ three teachers, dividing her space into an “infant room”, “toddler room” and “preschool room”.
Children enrolled are taught the importance of a healthy diet and eat exclusively organic food arriving regularly from local farms. She shared, “Healthy food is very important to us; our kids will often request milk or water as opposed to sodas when out of the classroom. That makes me feel great.” Music and language are also an important component of the curriculum that Louise has created. Students are engaged in Spanish songs weekly as the importance of being bilingual from an early age is highlighted.
Kiva is an ideal financing solution for Louise as traditional loans were not an option for her. She shared, “Banks were telling me that I needed to have been in business for two years before being considered for a loan, how was I supposed to do that?” After securing rent payments for the first two months as well as an initial deposit from family members, Louise looked to the community for help.
Louise will use her $10,000 Kiva loan to furnish her preschool, purchase necessary educational equipment and cover initial payroll for each of the instructors. In addition, these funds will ensure that only the highest quality organic local foods are provided for her students.
She hopes that her business will continue to take root and that her work will create a positive impact in the lives of her students. Although Louise currently has a license for six students, she will be moving in October to a new location that will accommodate over twenty. When asked about her future dreams, she joked, “Maybe I have to start an elementary school next!”