New child care center replaces preschool |

New child care center replaces preschool

Kara Williams
Special to the Post Independent

Solara, a new child care center, is scheduled to open March 1 in El Jebel in one of the buildings that Buddies Preschool occupied until it closed last fall.

After completely remodeling the smaller of two buildings on Gillespie Drive in El Jebel, Solara owners Laurie Soliday and Katharine Diamond plan to begin caring for children ages 18 months to 4 years in three separate rooms.

The preschool will be open from 7:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. Daily rates will be $40, with lunch available for $2 a day.

Soliday and Diamond, who both have young children and backgrounds in early childhood education, know the for-profit center won’t make them rich.

“We really want to provide a service for families in the community,” said Soliday. “With the building available, the timing was perfect.”

Without any advertising, 20 families have already expressed serious interest in the new school.

In preparation for the center’s opening, Soliday and Diamond are sending out enrollment packets to interested parents, finishing up the state licensing process, hiring teachers and scheduling an open house.

After getting established in the small building, Solara may expand to the larger one next door and enroll 5-year-olds, as well.

As for the unusual name, it came after the owners had been debating ideas for weeks.

“We didn’t want to do anything predictable, like ‘Mid-Valley Kids,'” said Soliday.

Diamond had dream in which a word came to her. After spelling out the unusual word for Soliday, her partner revealed that was her grandmother’s maiden name.

“We like it because it’s special and unique and easy for kids to say,” said Soliday.

Information: 704-9328.

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