FLEMING ISLAND – Quality child care with a wide range of hours is paramount for many parents. Parents work many different shifts or sometimes need care for children to take care of tasks, run …
FLEMING ISLAND – Quality child care with a wide range of hours is paramount for many parents. Parents work many different shifts or sometimes need care for children to take care of tasks, run errands, or even have a date night.
The child care center is based in Jacksonville, but its newest location will open on Fleming Island on Nov. 14. That will offer parents the ability to work late and run errands.
KidsPark’s biggest draw for parents is its late-night hours. Open until 10 p.m., KidsPark Fleming Island is the only child care center in the area to provide late-night hours, which is especially important for essential workers. KidsPark has drop-in and hourly care available, as well as VPK assistance and preschool options.
Stephanie Jackson is a co-owner with her husband of the new Fleming Island location. The two are former school principals with a commitment to children, their safety and their development.
“We [Jackson and her husband] both started out as customers,” she said. “So we knew how valuable it was to have a trusted, safe, secure child care facility during non-traditional work hours. Many times our nights [as principals] our nights lasted well past five p.m. KidsPark was a location we were able to frequent. Our kids loved it, and they would cry when it was time to go home.”
Eventually, the opportunity made itself available and the Jacksons decided to become owners of a KidsPark their children attended. As Clay County residents in Eagle Landing, they decided to bring that environment to their own community and offer that flexibility where no other facility in the county did. Supporting parents, especially essential workers, during the COVID-19 pandemic, was extremely important to Jackson.
“Those parents who are essential workers, they needed our services,” said Jackson. “They didn’t have the flexibility to work from home. They needed a place to bring their children. We started out being able to offer those services for them and realized that, while things are slowly moving back to have they were before, there are still parents who don’t have the flexibility to work from home.”
Having been a principal in Clay County for three years at Grove Park Elementary, Jackson is connected in the area and is excited to bring KidsPark to Fleming Island.
Holli Fears is a parent who uses KidsPark. She has two daughters who have been there for about two years.
“Overall, it’s been really nice to have someplace where we can drop the kids off,” Fears said. “For them, it doesn’t feel like daycare; it’s just fun. They literally beg to go.”