Family 'Building Futures' at old Young Friends building

by Bob Gaetjens | editor Published:

Streetsboro -- When Young Friends Childcare closed about two years ago, then-administrator Erin Jackson was not ready to move on from caring for children.

Now, she and her family are returning to the 1998 building which housed Young Friends Childcare Center and making it their own, quite literally.

Dan Plaso, Erin's father, has bought the facility and is in the midst of making improvements to it. Erin's mother Teri Plaso will own Building Futures, a daycare open to children from 6 weeks old to age 12, which the family said it plans to open sometime in March.

Jackson will the director of the new childcare facility and manage day-to-day operations.

"We love kids, and we've always been a close family," she said. "Being around kids all my life, it's just something I like to do," she said, explaining her ambition to launch a business with her family.

Dan Plaso went before the Streetsboro Planning & Zoning Commission Jan. 8, which voted unanimously to grant the family a conditional use certificate to use the facility as a childcare facility.

Dan Plaso told the commission he's planning to install a kitchen in the facility.

"The building was actually built with an area for a kitchen that was never built," he said at the Jan. 8 meeting. "We have an architect designing that as we speak."

Jackson said she wants to be able to provide a "family feel" at the child care center.

"We don't want the parents to have any anxiety or fear dropping their kids off to us," she said. "We want them to be excited to come in."

To help provide that feel, Dan Plaso said he and his company, Plaso Construction, will make a variety of improvements.

"Everything in here is going to get scrubbed from top to bottom," he said.

Two new pieces of playground equipment will be installed; new lighting will be added; and the interior will get a fresh coat of paint, he said.

Jackson said she hiring the best child care employees also is important.

"To start, we're probably looking at hiring four-plus [employees]," she said. "But our center can hold a lot of children, so it will all depend on how many children we can get."

Jackson said there's been an emphasis in recent years on professionalizing the child care profession by making available childhood development associate's degrees. She said she hopes to hire employees with CDAs.

"You actually want people who care and want to be with the kids," she said. "To me, daycare should be more than just a job. It should be something where you look forward to going in and being with the kids."

She said Building Futures plans to offer a preschool curriculum, including work on motor skills, exercise, arts and crafts and learning about weather, shapes, numbers and colors.

"We'll have a preschool curriculum so they are ready for kindergarten," she said.

The hours of operation will be from 6:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. on weekdays. For more information, call 330-626-5437

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