Teri Hownslow has been busy the past few months. Not only has she pulled together all the paperwork and training she needed to license her new daycare facility—she has named it Adventure Academy LLC—she has been remodeling her historic home to accommodate the children she hopes to care for.
It’s a 1915 Craftsman home, one of the original homes in The Dalles, old enough to have been built with big, wide doors to accommodate a lady’s hoop skirts all the fashion a hundred years ago. The entire electrical system has been replaced, rooms upgraded to provide a safe and usable daycare space.
The dining and living rooms are combined into one large room, with a variety of areas. There is a new kitchenette, where she and the children can fix meals; a table for art, with plenty of supplies on hand; a play kitchen, a dress up corner.
There is space for meals, places to relax, to play, all carefully decorated with furnishings and fresh paint.
“I’ll be able to move the kids around so they are always occupied,” Hownslow, a grandmother of four, said of the multi-functional space.
“It’s beautiful, it’s like a temple of childcare,” she said of the colorful, large, airy front room. “I invested everything I could into this.”
She is certified to take 10 children, 18 months to kindergarten, but plans to take only six.
She has worked in childcare for many years, and raised children of her own, she said. “I was inspired by my grandchildren,” she added. “I love hanging around with them. They are all ‘littles,’ those are my favorite people.”
Nevertheless, this is her first real business venture and for 2 1/2 months she has been busy with the details of starting a childcare business, working with Noemi Ochoa of Columbia Gorge Community College’s Child Care Partners, which provides training and professional development for the early learning workforce in Gilliam, Hood River, Sherman, Wasco and Wheeler counties.
“I have a wall filled with certificates,” Hownslow said with a smile.
Adventure Academy is going to be an educational, hands-on, nature based daycare, with whole foods and no videos or television, she said. They will play with musical instruments, cook together and explore the environment.
“We’ll be learning things every day,” she said.
Everything is set up and ready, said Hownslow, the only thing missing, among the toys and little furniture, are the children.
She is excited to be opening her doors and filling that void—and the house is as well. “It’s like the house is waiting with bated breath for the children to arrive,” she explained.
The Adventure Academy LLC is located at 1116 E. 10th St. in The Dalles. Information can be found on Facebook and by calling 509-296-1400 or 425-249-1421.