A Strongsville woman is planning to open a new kind of childcare center that will offer drop-in care for kids seven days a week and stay open till 10 or 11 most nights.
Andrea Kimmel hopes to open Sweet Kiddles Flexible Childcare Center in March or April at 16512 Pearl Rd., in the Pearl Echo Plaza.
Kimmel said the idea was born "out of necessity as a busy working parent."
"We need flexibility as parents," she said. "Traditional child care is pretty rigid."
Sweet Kiddles will accommodate families that don't have 9-to-5 work schedules and also give parents another babysitting choice if they want to go out on the weekends.
Initially, hours will be: Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
It will also give parents another option for unexpected childcare needs, like snow days.
"Snow days aren't something you can plan for," Kimmel said. "We want to be able to meet people's needs."
The license will allow for 66 kids ages 6 weeks to 12 years, but Kimmel said she could expand to about 100 children if necessary.
Sweet Kiddles will occupy 5,400 square feet next to , with 3,000-square-foot playground in the back. The play area will include an outdoor nature learning center.
Not Just Daycare
Kimmel, who has an MBA and a background in business, said the center will be staffed by early childhood education professionals with a four-year degree.
They will follow a running curriculum that will be designed to let drop-ins participate in educational projects.
"It's not just babysitting -- it's learning," Kimmel said.
The business also plans to open a preschool in September that will be open to any child who is potty-trained, even if he or she doesn't meet age cutoffs at traditional preschools.
There will be two three-hour sessions each weekday, with parents able to choose two to five sessions a week.
In addition, Kimmel plans to offer specialized classes to youngsters -- like music and languages -- who may not need preschool or daycare.
She also wants to start a lactation support group and a social group for new moms.
Take the Night Off
Sweet Kiddles also seeks to replace babysitters with its evening and weekend hours.
Kimmel said she will offer "date-night specials" with various themes so both parents and kids can enjoy a fun evening out.
The minimum drop-in session is two hours, with a variable rate plan that starts at $9 an hour.