Aletha Harris, owner of BrighStart Early Preschool, is known to many to be a determined, strong and professional businesswoman: She attended Kenmore High School and has worked and lived in the area for many years. But it was her love for children that motivated her to open her own daycare business and accumulate more than20 years in the industry.
In June of 2020, Harris' strength and determination came in handy when, during the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, she chose to open her second daycare location at1069 Kenmore Blvd.
Long time coming
“l had been eyeballing this building since 2012,” said Harris said. “I used to go to the doctor here.”
The building's former use worked out in Harris’ favor: Many of the pandemic-related CDC recommendations became that much easier to implement.
“There are sinks in each classroom…I intended to keep the sinks by the entryway so children can come in and wash hands,” she explained. “We limit what children can bring in and my staff is constantly cleaning and sanitizing. We are keeping classroom sizes smaller.”
While Harris said she is proud of the way her staff has stepped up during theCOVID-19 pandemic, she is proudest of the great reputation the business has earned over the years. BrightStart frequently gets referrals from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services as well as positive reviews from parents. And given her decades in the business, Harris has also had the opportunity to care for several generations of the same family.
“When people say my establishment is awesome, that makes me very proud,” she said.
In addition to the well-equipped building, Harris chose the Boulevard as her second home thanks in part to recent revitalization efforts., including the Kenmore First Friday events coordinated by Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance.
“I noticed all the festivities happening on the Boulevard because, for a while, it seemed like nothing was happening,” she explained, adding she looks forward to participating in upcoming events and connecting with more Boulevard business owners. “I love my location on the Boulevard,” she said.
BrightStart Early Preschool is open 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday and accepts students age 6 weeks to 4 years. For more information, visit their Facebook page or call 234-571-3003.