EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – After less than two years looking after some of Tuckahoe’s tiniest tykes, Koala Park Daycare has expanded to a second village location and is ready to take on even more youngsters.
Since opening in May 2013 Koala Park has been the must stop shop for parents seeking a professional, licensed, insured daycare facility, with the demand becoming so great that founder Karina Wyllie expanded the operation from her home on Armourvilla Avenue to a second location at Pleasant Place.
Koala Park got its start after Wyllie relocated to Westchester from Long Island in 2010. After struggling to find local, affordable day care for her then infant daughter, she decided to open up a full-time center out of her home.
The schedule runs for 10 hours each day, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. There is an additional part-time schedule from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
There were some hiccups for Wyllie in opening the second shop, as she sought the proper approvals and construction permits, but at long last, she’s been able to open the doors and is welcoming children as young as six weeks to as old as 12-years-old.
“It took longer than expected, we had to do a bit of a construction job the new house, it wasn’t quite ready to pass to be a licensed home-based child daycare,” she said. “It was just some little things. The whole job took about four or five months.”
Presently there is one head provider at the new location, who oversees an assistant. When the operation is fully up and running, the new Koala Park will oversee a dozen full-time children with a full staff, as well as up to four part-time members of the program.
“Every single day I get phone calls and emails from new families and pregnant moms looking for our help,” Wyllie said. “There’s an influx of young families that are buying their first home here and they want the right people to care for their children.”
Wyllie said that Koala Park has become more than just a daycare facility for the children her staff looks after; it’s become “a home away from home” for them.
“I’m purposely taking my time (expanding) because I want to do it step by step and I want to make sure we provide a service that is top of the line,” she said. “It’s important to me that we meet the needs of the children and families first and foremost.”
“I’m just excited and happy it’s been so successful, but it goes so far beyond that. I’m truly vested in this. I know I won’t get rich doing this, but it’s just about providing high quality service to the children.”
There will be an open house at the new Koala Park facility from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 28 at 42 Pleasant Place. They are also seeking qualified assistants; those interested can reach Karina Wyllie at (914) 337-0110 or firstname.lastname@example.org