January 19, 2024
Miranda Taylor turned her experience as an Ed Tech III/School-Based Behavioral Health Professional into Child Care entrepreneurship – creating a commute-free job for herself and providing a much-needed service for families in her community.
How do you define a good job? Disney World vacation? Yes! Being accessible to your family? Yes! No commute time? Yes! Since Miranda Taylor opened her child care business – Taylor Tots – in Canton in 2021, she’s happy to say that she has created a good job for herself and her family. And, she’s providing a much-needed service for her community.
“Oxford County has really struggled with finding enough child care providers,” she said. “Miranda hears from parents who travel 30 minutes or more, each way, to other child care providers. “Most people around here don’t work super local so they’re having to commute quite a ways over, and then have to go to a different direction for daycare. It’s just crazy,” she said. She’d been in the same boat herself when her youngest child was in daycare and Miranda worked at a preschool for children with special needs. “My work was 10 minutes away, but I’d have to drive 10 minutes in another direction and then another 10 minutes to work, so it really added to my day.”
For six years, she was an Ed Tech III/School-Based Behavioral Health Professional. “I really, really loved working with kids every day. I knew that’s what I wanted to do and was very happy doing that. But I did find that I was not available to my family as much as I really wanted to be and needed to be.” She worked in a classroom and even ate lunch with the kids. “I didn’t have access to my phone all day long … unless I grabbed it quickly on my way to the bathroom,” she said. Her four kids – especially the two teenagers – had ever-changing schedules but Miranda couldn’t help. “All of that responsibility fell on my husband because they had access to him. It was very draining on my family for them not to have access to me during the day.”
Miranda had an associate’s degree in business administration, then worked as a legal secretary and had administrative responsibilities at the preschool. She felt ready to open her own childcare. She loved a nearby building that was for sale, but banks balked at a loan for the not-yet-operating business. “These people accepted my offer and then I couldn’t get a loan,” she said. “I tried to write my own business plan but the banks wouldn’t go for that at the time.”
When she searched online for help, CEI Child Care Business Lab showed up only days before the class started. She found the program extremely helpful, especially the business advisor. “It was so great to have people that you can just email and ask questions to, and have a conversation with, looking for sound advice.”
Still searching for a location, at home one day she had an idea: “I looked down my hallway, then at my husband, and said, ‘What if we build something down there, and then connect it in?’ We walked all around the outside of our home and my husband called a contractor that he knew. He came over the next day and said, ‘Yeah, what you guys want to do is totally doable, and we could do it quick.’ ”
As a part of the Child Care Business Lab, Miranda wrote a business plan with help from a business advisor and then secured a loan right through CEI. “Oh gosh, it was so much easier. The loan officer would ask me for something and I wouldn’t have to worry that I don’t know what this is. I was able to say to my business advisor, ‘They need this. Do I have this?’… It was really a streamlined process,” she said.
Getting her license during the construction meant Miranda needed to know the codes and requirements. “I was provided with all the little rules. … so there would be no hiccups along the way.” She was able to open as soon as her license was approved.
“I was full right away with the amount of kids that I was allowed to have, and since then, I’ve always been full,” she said. “Best of all, my youngest daughter is with me every day – and I walk down the hall to work every day. It’s working out really well for my family to have access to me. Oh, and because I make my own schedule and make a decent living, I’ve been able to take my family to Disney each year since I opened.”
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