HOLLAND, Ohio — Camille Harris started her childcare business out of her home nearly 20 years ago. She's since expanded to a daycare center in Holland, "All 4 Kids LLC."
The goal is to get kids ready for kindergarten and it's not just about learning their ABC's, colors and shapes.
"Learning to communicate. Learning to wait your turn. Learning to share and that builds a solid foundation for when kids do go to Kindergarten, they'll be able to regulate themselves and learn better," said Harris.
The State's Step up to Quality program rates childcare centers based on how they go above and beyond state standards. Harris was able to increase her center's rating to five stars, the highest level, in a matter of a few years.
Harris said the hard work is rewarding.
"I love the relationships that I build with a lot of the kids and their families," she explained.
While Harris has the childcare part down, the business part wasn't as natural. That's where the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Center came in to help her grow.
"Profit and loss statements, different things about taxes, write-offs, deductions, depreciation. So the Chamber was so helpful," said Harris.
"I don't think many people know we exist, until we get referrals, we're like a quiet-kept secret in town," said Jill Badger, a counselor with the SBDC.
Badger has an accounting background and said her colleagues at the Chamber have expertise in a variety of areas, to help small businesses get to the next level.
"Everyone has something that they need. And please, don't be afraid to ask," said Badger.