Welcome to Mompreuner Monday, where we introduce you to a Mom-based businesses in Lake County.
This month we are introducing you to Cory Cameron, owner of Grayslake’s newest preschool, Little Lake Learning Station.
I have always been around children. As a graduate of Carmel High School, part of our schooling included service hours in the community. I started volunteering in daycare centers in the area. I fell in love with the idea of caring and educating children. I went on to peruse a BA in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University where after I worked within daycare centers as an At-Risk Preschool Teacher. Between working and volunteering in and out of daycare center for over 15 years, I have seen a great need for centers that provide quality care with a quality education. I wanted to open a center that not only cared and nurtured for children socially and emotionally but that also help instill a life long love of learning in all children.
Oh boy has it been difficult. I am a mother of 2 very smart, adorable and active children, ages 5 and 3. They have been in toe with me ever step of the way in this process. Between daily trips to Home Depot to pick out tile, to testing our playground equipment and even being stuck inside all nasty winter while I worked on paperwork, they have inspired me to keep going. Managing the household has been a difficult one. My husband has become Mr. Mom at home while I take care of the center like it is my second home with cleaning it, doing laundry, cooking for children, doing dishes and paying bills. But after a year to get the center up and running, the chaos has paid off. My children are as elated to be with me everyday, as am I. Life still will remain slightly off balance in my house but we are all pulling it together.
There are too many things to list here. My favorite parts are the moments when families and children walk in the building and instantly feel a connection. When a child will come in to a classroom of strange children and start playing like they have been friends for years. That sense of trust the parents and children develop is by far the best thing. It validates why I wanted to start my own center.
I have a great group of mommy friends that support me and we often do a MNO. It helps to get out into the world and have an adult conversation. They have listened to me in my joy and in my anger over the center. They have given great insight being parents themselves what they would like to see in a center. On the weekends, my family and I like to hike in the area or during the summer camp. I also have my guilty pleasure of watching too much Real Housewives, History Channel and rocking out in my care to R5, Teen Beach Movie, and Selena Gomez (I also enjoy “my age” music LOL)
My Children. As a parent I know how worrisome it can be to find quality care. My children help me see what quality care and a nurturing environment is through a child’s eyes.
I have developed with center from the ground up. Between the demo of the building, hours talking with the architect, picking out the perfect calming paint color, finding child-sized toilets and even making the building ADA accessible; Everything has been planned and centered around the quality care and positive growth for children. Corners can’t be cut, and the cheapest route cannot be taken when it come to taking care of children. I am here to provide a safe, nurturing and educational experience for every child.
I am a preschool teacher to the very core, I love MESS!!! Glitter, finger paint, shaving cream. I also crave that moment a child realizes they learned to tie their shoes or find their name on their cubbies. To see a child grow is truly amazing.
Work-life balance. Creating this center has been my life for over a year. Working on it at home, in the car, on the phone, in stores or at the center. Now that we are open, have children regularly attending and have staff waiting in the midst to start, I have to learn to leave work at work, and enjoy my time at home.