Brock and Donna Quinn are like many busy parents. It’s always been a challenge for them to find child care for only a couple of hours at a time. When it has come to last-minute childcare for their son, Aidan, 8, and daughter, Anna, 5, Brock said he didn’t understand how difficult it was for his wife while he was deployed through the Air Force Reserves until he was back home, helping with the kids.
“I’ve always asked her, ‘Why can’t you just drive and drop them off at a storefront childcare center real quick so you can go do stuff for an hour or two?’” he said.
“Like any parent, I had times when I needed a few hours without children,” Donna said. “It would have been wonderful to have a place to take them where I knew they would be happy and safe.”
That’s why the Greenville couple has decided to meet a demand and open an hourly, drop-in childcare center at 21 Orchard Park Drive beside Outback Steakhouse in Greenville. KidsZone won’t be a part of a franchise, Brock pointed out, which he sees as a plus.
“We’re starting from scratch,” he said. “We found a couple of franchises that did this, and I talked to them and learned what they did. I realized we could do this on our own. We’re more than qualified.”
With an associate’s degree in early childhood education and 14 years of experience as a child-care professional, Donna will serve as the director of KidsZone, which will open in early 2018. A co-director and additional staff will soon be hired to accommodate a capacity of at least 80 kids, Brock said. All will be required to pass background checks, pass safety training, and meet standards set by the Department of Social Services.
Services will provide for children ages 12 weeks to 12 years old, and infants and toddlers will have a separate section away from older children. There will be free play time along with structured activities, such as crafts, story time, dramatic play, movies, video games and board games.
Cost will be $9 an hour for one child or $13 for two children, Brock said. Parents must complete a one-time registration to use the center’s services.
“Once we get that into the system, they’re good to drop off anytime, and the kids can stay as long as parents need,” he said. “We’ll have extended hours so whether it’s morning, afternoon or night, we’re still open so they can use us when they need us. We’ll also have large capacity because I wanted to make sure we were never turning parents away when they needed us.”
Interested parents can now register online and begin receiving news and notifications from KidsZone at www.KidsZoneUpstate.com. The couple, who began planning the venture months ago, believe there is plenty of demand for drop-in childcare in the Upstate.
“For new moms, there is no other place that caters to new moms,” Brock said. “Anyone with babies 12 weeks and up that need a break will have a place to go.”
Donna said KidsZone will be open throughout the day and evening for whenever parents need them.
"We'll have early morning, afternoon and evening hours, so it will be convenient for appointments, date nights or spending time with friends," she said.