Ready, Set, Grow celebrates 15 years of care

Students at Ready, Set, Grow listen to a story, just one of many fun activities students enjoy each day. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

Students at Ready, Set, Grow listen to a story, just one of many fun activities students enjoy each day. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

CHELSEA—When Jean McGuire and her husband, Mac, opened Ready, Set, Grow in 2000, they had one goal in mind.

“We wanted to create a place that was very safe, but could provide a fun learning environment for kids,” McGuire said.

Now, 15 years later, Ready, Set, Grow’s 11 teachers care for about 70 children each day and the program has a waitlist for acceptance.

“This started as a dream, and now 15 years (later), it’s amazing,” McGuire said.

Ready, Set, Grow aims to provide more than just childcare throughout the day. The facility aims to develop “the whole child” through hands-on and creative activities designed to facilitate emotional, social, physical and academic development, McGuire explained.

The small student-to-teacher ratio allows teachers to work on an individual level with students to help them learn and grow, and to prepare them for the transition to kindergarten.

“No child learns at the same level, everyone learns differently. We have to figure out what is the way that they learn, and how we can grasp it,” McGuire said. “When children leave here, they’re going to be well prepared for kindergarten.”

McGuire credits her staff with the success of Ready, Set, Grow. Each member of the Ready, Set, Grow team is an accredited early childhood teacher.

“My staff is amazing, I’d put them up against anybody,” McGuire said. “Your heart and soul really has to be for the well-being of the child.”

On Saturday, April 18, Ready, Set, Grow will host a 15th anniversary celebration reunion and open house from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“We’re inviting everyone that has ever been a part of the Ready, Set, Grow family to come join us,” McGuire said.

The event is free and will include face painting, balloon animals, activities, door prizes and vendors from the community.

Families will have an opportunity to tour the facility and visit their child’s classroom.

“We just want to celebrate children, that includes the families and the community,” McGuire said.

For more information about the event, email McGuire at Readyset@bellsouth.net or call 678-7123. Ready, Set, Grow is located at 110 Highway 337 in Chelsea.