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  • Loup Valley Childhood Initiative

Lori Rogers Daycare: Part of Your Extended Family

Her start in the child care industry may have happened by chance but Lori Rogers’ sense of family has always extended beyond her own immediate family.

Her maternal and care-giving instincts have always been apparent. As a young child, she recalls being the one that was always tending to and playing with her younger cousins. As she started her own family with her husband, Ron, she would occasionally help their family friends by caring for their children as well. Her first official start in the child care industry occurred when she went to work for Laurie Hervert, an in-home provider in Ord, where Lori also took her youngest child, providing him with an opportunity to interact with other kids. Learning from and being mentored and inspired by Hervert, Lori jumped in and created her own licensed child care business.

Her intent when she stated her in-home business is a common one among mothers who merge their desire to care for children with their entrepreneurial spirit – she would continue until her own kids were older and in school. However, fate had other plans. The snuggles, giggles and kids-say-the-darndest-things moments have been much of what inspired Lori to continue with her business, now 30 years later.

While her passion for caring for children has been unwavering, there are certainly challenges that occur, as they do with any business. Lori recalls that getting into a routine and getting organized, so you have the bottle ready when you need it and meals prepped in advance (especially with mixed ages of children), was one of the most challenging aspects when she first stated. She also mentioned that having conversations with parents about less-than-ideal situations is never fun but any parent would appreciate and respect her guidance considering Lori’s authentic desire to care for the children as if they were her own.

As she reflected on her 30+ years in the child care industry and thinking ahead about the next generation of child care providers, she encourages those thinking about becoming a provider to jump in with all of their heart and soul.

She points out that there is so much support available for providers, not only through mentorship, like the experience she had with Hervert, but with child care advocacy programs like the Loup Valley Childhood Initiative, which she has utilized for provider education trainings and a grant to help her purchase new equipment and safety features for her business. Even the seemingly intimidating state licensing process is a good thing. Lori mentioned that providers may fear the state regulations but “they are helpful and they want you to succeed.” The same goes for the food program; there is support staff to walk you through the process. Plus, everything is online which makes it easy and convenient.

As a few mom’s pop in mid-morning and gather in the living room with their infants who will soon join the crew at Lori’s, they are joined by Lori’s brother-in-law, Roger, who’s face lights up when interacting with the little ones as well. The moms express their appreciation for the care Lori offers and mentions that it makes drop off so easy when their child looks forward to being at Lori’s and they know they will be taken care of as if they were one of Lori’s own children. Lori expresses that her role “is a big responsibility but parents are understanding, helpful and appreciative.”

Lori has experience so many benefits throughout her years as a child care provider with the most meaningful one being the children and their families become part of her own extended family.

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