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How I started a home preschool: Bernal Infant and Child Care case study

Meet Erica Ramos, Director of Bernal Infant and Child Care.

When Erica Ramos’ son turned 2, she knew she wanted to fill her home with more children. This inspired her to open her program, Bernal Infant and Child Care, an infant and toddler program located in San Francisco, CA.

The challenges of starting my own child care

Even before my son was born, I was thinking about opening up a home child care business. I wanted to provide the best care possible for him. My cousin has a very successful program and she guided me through the licensing process.

Then I started marketing on my own for about three months. The hardest part for me was getting myself out there and sharing my program with as many people as possible. I went to our local child care resource and referral agency where I learned about Wonderschool.

Working with Wonderschool

When I heard about Wonderschool, I realized they could help me a lot. Wonderschool’s marketing and online platform simplified the marketing process. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time and money on advertising and marketing, and they helped with that. They got me set up with a photographer to take professional photographs of my space. They made a website with all the information that parents needed to know about my program. They helped me run open houses. They got me to the price point where I could be making the income I wanted.

I now had a whole support team that I could ask questions to at any time, as well as the camaraderie of other Wonderschool Directors. I contacted Gloria from Banana Fana Preschool and asked her a lot of questions about the process. Not only was it helpful to talk to someone who went through the process, but I could really relate to Gloria as she is also a mother with a young child living in San Francisco like me.

My in-home child care success

Once Wonderschool started helping me with marketing, parents immediately started signing up for tours, and now my school is full!

I have so many inquiries for infants, I can’t even answer them all! It was really tough choosing my last family because there were so many families who wanted the spot. They come in every day and are so happy to be here, and so thankful to have this space and this program.

Wonderschool needs more programs that are just for infants! I would encourage Directors to care for all infants (4 infants at a time) because they can constantly have a cycle of new infants. There’s a huge need!

My husband has also been extremely supportive. He has experience working with kids doing respite foster care, and he’s really good with them. I am very fortunate he’s been helping me out as I get on my feet. Some people may think this job is like babysitting, but it’s not, and it’s really important to have support.

The future of Bernal Infant and Child Care

In the future, I would really like to expand my program and get a large license to double the number of kids in my home child care program. I think it’s exciting to have all these kids grow up with my son. I can hire assistants and take on more of a managerial role.

I feel like anything’s possible. The last three years have been transforming. I’m a cancer survivor and had my first child. Three years ago, I was in a totally different position.

If you’re open to change, you can make a lot of interesting things happen. You can make everything happen.

I’m now living in San Francisco, and without this job that I have chosen, I don’t think I could make it here. I’m really grateful I got into this line of work– it’s the perfect fit for me. Now I just want to spend as much time as humanly possible with my son and enjoy this great city that we’re so fortunate to live in!

More case studies from Wonderschool Directors on how they started their family child care programs:

Kristina from Little Robles

Theresa from Little Nest Learning Space

Gloria from Banana Fana Preschool

Start your own family child care or preschool

Wonderschool has helped over 140 educators and child care providers start and grow their own programs. Learn more about starting your own child care or preschool here.

Emily Tsay

Emily is a Product and Marketing Consultant at Wonderschool. She has an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, with a specialization in Social Innovation and Education Marketing.