Although Play & Grow started on July 1, 2008, the idea and plan began about 13 years earlier. While attending college in Stevens Point, Jason and Angie, recently engaged, had thought about starting a child care center. It seemed to be a perfect fit since Jason was finishing up a business degree and Angie was working toward a teaching degree. After college Jason followed a retail management career, while Angie gained experience in both a child care setting and as a fifth grade teacher. After several years, the idea of starting a child care center ended up on the back burner. Angie’s career brought her back into child care and she worked her way up to a Center Director. It was here that she was able to learn the ins and outs of the various regulations and the operations of a child care center. In the early part of 2008 Jason had an opportunity present itself for the purchase of a struggling child care center. Right away he knew that this was the opportunity that Angie and he had considered thirteen years earlier. With several changes to the operations, they saw the potential of this center and decided to pursue this opportunity. The process was challenging, but on July 1, 2008, Play & Grow Learning Center was born.
The timing of this new center was not ideal as the economy began its worst recession in many years and Jason and Angie often wondered if they made the right decision. They had to do whatever it took to keep things going through the first year and a half such as doing the carpet and floor cleaning themselves and doing a lot of the food shopping and delivery in order to keep costs down. They stayed focused on improving the center by building good relationships with the parents and constantly improving the staff.
After about a year and a half their hard work started to pay off. Enrollment started to increase and the word started to get out about the quality of care that Play & Grow provides. In fact, the response was so good that Jason and Angie decided to open a second location in Grand Chute in the fall of 2011. Again after lots of hard work, this center began to grow very quickly. An expansion was done in 2014 to increase the space and add three more classrooms as well as a larger large motor room. The center continues to focus on relationship building with their families and continues to grow.
After opening their second location, many families, staff, and friends would ask the question, “When are you opening your third?” The response from Angie and Jason was always “we aren’t”. Well, I guess you can never say “never” as Play & Grow Learning Center now has five locations serving the Fox Valley area making them the largest child care provider in the area. The exciting part of these new adventures are the amount of opportunities that are now available for their staff. Play & Grow Learning Center continues to instill the same philosophy of building excellent parent relationships, providing a high quality educational environment, an ongoing focus on communication between parents, teachers, and our leadership team, and making Play & Grow Learning Center a place that your children will enjoy coming to every day.