Wauwatosa Day Care expands to Montessori school in Fischer building, celebrates 40 years
In 1974, Wauwatosa residents were not fond of the idea of a day care opening in the lower level of Nativity Lutheran Church on North 69th Street and West Bluemound Road. They worried the new business would increase traffic — and the number of people — in the neighborhood.
Forty years later, that business, Wauwatosa Day Care and Learning Centers Inc., now operates in 10 total schools and churches, offering day care and before and after school programs. This September, it will open an 11th location at the Montessori School in the Fischer building, 12121 W. North Ave., and celebrate its 40th anniversary. The day care serves about 500 families.
Rosemary Krause and Janey Brandt founded Wauwatosa Day Care in 1974 and still operate it today. Krause and Brandt have been friends for more than 50 years and opened the day care in Nativity Lutheran during a time when day care "just was not very popular," even though the demand existed, said Krause.
Since opening, Wauwatosa Day Care has received new invitations from local public and private elementary schools almost every year to open on-site programs.
While its original location at Nativity Lutheran no longer exists, Wauwatosa Day Care currently offers before-and-after-school care, called Kid's Club, at Jefferson, Washington, Lincoln, and McKinley elementary schools, and in September, the Montessori location.
Daylong care is provided at Saint Jude the Apostle Parish, Underwood Elementary, St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church and School, Christ King and St. Camillus Assisted Living.
"I always felt that if children came to us, I knew that they were well taken care of," said Krause.
The oldest child accepted into the day care program is 12 years old.
The model for day care has evolved since 1974. What might have seemed like glorified baby-sitting now has a greater emphasis on teaching and learning.
Wauwatosa Day Care offers a theme-based weekly curriculum to its toddlers, said Mary Beth Krause, program manager at Wauwatosa Day Care, and Rosemary's daughter.
"We're preparing those 4-year-olds for kindergarten," said Mary Beth Krause. "We've heard really good things that when they go for testing, they feel very ready for kindergarten."
The day care also has aimed to create peace-of-mind for parents by providing snacks for kids after school and escorting kindergartens to and from their classrooms.
"I'm thrilled we are still here able to do these things and provide this service to the community," said Brandt, whose daughter, Colleen, also works for the business.
"I feel the same. I think it's so important for parents to be able to go to work and know that their children are safe and their kids are having a good time," said Rosemary Krause. "We have kids that don't want to go home. It's just been a wonderful thing."
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