Congratulations to Hand in Hand Daycare for being selected as the Business of the Month for November 2017. The following interview was conducted with Tonya Deason.
Please tell us where Hand in Hand Daycare is located.
205 Southbrook Parkway, in Kearney.
How long has it been here in Kearney, and when did you take it over?
I’m not sure when it was originally opened, I believe in the 80’s sometime. It was built to be a childcare center. We took over in April 2008.
Why did you decide to invest in Hand in Hand?
Originally it was on a whim. My oldest son was getting picked on at his previous daycare center. I always wanted a place where I knew my kids were safe. When I heard it was open for sale I asked my mother, Judy Gudermuth, if she wanted to buy a business together. I told her why I wanted it and she agreed. Originally, I wanted to make sure that my kids were safe and happy and that my mom would eventually get to retire early. The retirement part is still in the works!
What age groups and services do you provide?
We provide services to families with children from 6 weeks to 14 years old.
What would you say is unique about your business?
What’s unique about us is that my mother and I both have full-time jobs outside of the daycare. It is truly a family business. My mother does all the bookkeeping, my dad does a lot of the maintenance around the building, my husband does a lot of the plumbing and lawn care, and I do the shopping. We have a director – Julie Williams – that has been with us from day one. She is the most kind and caring person to run the daycare. She knows all the rules and regulations inside and out. She maintains the daily running of the daycare. We have 14 of the most compassionate childcare givers in the area. They can work with almost any child in any situation and make it a great experience. My brother and sister also help out when needed with no questions asked. We also have almost five acres of land to go with the building. We are in the process of rearranging the playground after last year’s major flooding. We have a stream behind the building and a pond across the street that allows different wildlife to be seen on a daily basis.
You are literally everywhere. Please tell us about the many things you do in our community.
I currently work full time at Excelsior Springs Hospital as the Director of Radiology. Judy Gudermuth has worked at GFI for the last 33 years. My husband and I started an elite wrestling club called Team Grindhouse Wrestling. I am an active member of the Kearney Chamber and work closely with many other not-for-profit organizations.
Are there any upcoming events or happenings with your preschool you’d like to tell us about?
We’re getting ready for the really fun stuff in daycare – the Holidays!!! We’ll be having our Harvest Party, Thanksgiving Feast, Christmas and Valentine’s parties. Once a year we have a company come in and do pictures and we’re involved in the Original Works program. We have an amazing Santa that comes in to see us and the Kearney Fire Department and Smokey the Bear come every year to see the kiddos.