Why did we start?
After years of successfully managing other programs, we are so excited and grateful to have our own. We have always felt there is a huge need in the community for a program like ours. When working at other centers, we always felt a disconnect at some level between owners, management, teachers and the needs of the children. We absolutely love working with children and are doing our best to compile a center full of professionals that love working with children as well.
How did we get here?
In 2018 we became frustrated and disappointed with the amount of influence and impact we were able to have while running other programs. We decided to take a leap of faith and begin the process of starting our own program. Mrs. Emily licensed our home in Rocklin as an In-Home Daycare and we began operating our first summer camp. When summer camp ended, our families asked us to continue running throughout the school year with our After School Program. Simultaneously, we built two music studios in our garage and hired two music teachers to offer lessons in addition to the ones Mrs. Emily was teaching. It was at this time we were incredibly fortunate to bring on Mr. Kenny and Ms. Danielle, who are still with us to this day and have grown into amazing teachers and administrators. We continued to grow both our Music and School Age program to the point where we outgrew being able to operate both out of our home.
In February of 2020 we made the decision to lease our first commercial space (our Music Studio). We used all of our savings to build out the Music Studio and were all set to have our grand opening on March 14th. This ended up being when the state enacted the lockdown due to Covid-19. With so much fear of the unknown circulating we lost all of After School students and only retained about 60% of the music families that were attending pre-lockdown for virtual lessons. We ended up going 14 weeks with no income and made the difficult decision to move out of our home in order to keep our business. During this time we were incredibly fortunate to receive financial support from the Hafeman, Altaffer, McBride, Pasewark and Kloetzer Families. Their support provided us with valuable time to sell almost all of our possessions and begin the process of moving out of our home. In the time since moving we have been staying with several different family members.
During this time, we debated many different courses of action, including moving out of the state. In August of 2020, Mrs. Emily learned that a daycare in the area (Angels in Action) was closing one of their locations (4500 Tuttle Dr.). Mrs. Emily being the bold optimist that she is, decided that this was our next move. At one of the worst times in history, we choose to take an insane risk. She applied like crazy to any and all Covid relief programs we could find and after weeks we finally were approved by the SBA for their lowest Covid relief loan. With these funds and an abundance of blood, sweat and tears we were able to open our center. We have been very fortunate to have a ton of help from our families, friends and amazing staff members in addition to our landlord. Our landlord Mr. Ed Fong and his son Jeff, have been incredibly generous, patient and kind in working with us as we grow. Without their actions we would not have been able to open this center. We are incredibly grateful for their actions and intend to pay forward the generosity they have shown us.
What are our goals?
While we fall under the daycare genre, we don’t want to be viewed as a daycare. In our minds, we always felt daycare had a negative connotation. Our goal is to be a character development program. We feel that this is something that is sorely missing from our current education system. As our society struggles with morality, these lines have been blurred and often left unapproached with children. We believe this can and will have a very negative impact on our society and community if not addressed. While we do have a number of families attending because they need childcare during their work day, our goal is to offer such quality teaching, that families who do not need care, choose to have their children attend our center for the enrichment and character development attributes their child will receive. Our ultimate goal is to grow our current center into a program for preschool aged children and below. This will then allow us to open a campus that offers high level training for a wide variety of athletics, arts and different activities. We will then move all of our school age programming into that complex.
Kyle and Emily Balga
TNT Kidz Center