Bobbi’s World: Kentucky Mom Makes her Daycare Dream Come True

“Oh wait, what is that?!” was Bobbi’s five-word response when she first learned
details about the UpTogether Northern Kentucky Fund.

“When my friend told me about it she referred to my goal of having an in-home
daycare. We’ve been friends for a long time and both had these dreams 10 years ago
that we could never do because we didn’t know how or have access to it,” Bobbi said.

The UpTogether NKY Fund provided direct cash monthly to 30 households in Northern
Kentucky in hopes of learning how direct cash investments and social capital allows
families to accelerate their goals and start creating wealth for themselves and their
families.

“When I entered the UpTogether program, I was able to manifest and use the funds
to help start my [business]. It was a different level of freedom that I could put it
towards whatever I wanted to do for the long term.”

Newport, Kentucky has been home to Bobbi and her children for the last 8 years.
“It’s a small city but it’s highly populated,” she said.

Originally from Cincinnati and moving to Covington when she was a teenager, Bobbi
has a great appreciation for her “little community of people who all know each other”.

She loves that her 9-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter can walk to school and be
fairly independent. Bobbi's children have been involved in sports from cheerleading to
football, baseball, soccer and basketball since they were 3 years old.

“When we’re not doing a sport we are trying to travel and make memories,” Bobbi said.
“Going on road trips and doing things I wasn’t able to do as a single mom [in the
beginning].”

She had her daughter when she was 17 years old and wasn’t able to do a lot of the
family activities that she wanted due to finances.

She moved from Covington to Newport when she saw a sign on a building advertising
housing for single parents. Shortly after, Bobbi moved in with 6 of her friends and was
able to finish college while getting support with childcare, and receiving additional
resources.

“It was a good experience that I wish I would’ve had in my earlier 20s vs. later 20s.
If that program existed as soon as I graduated from high school I would’ve been
further along with school and my career,” Bobbi said reflecting on her years in the
scholar house.

In November 2020, Bobbi completed degrees in early childhood education and social
work.

“Once you graduate from college they give you a Section 8 voucher to find a house,”
she explained, while acknowledging that her children had more space and they were
able to stay in the same neighborhood as their friends.

Early childhood education was a passion that grew over time for Bobbi. “Being a high
school mom [I worked at a daycare] and took my daughter to work with me. I didn’t
wake up and say I wanted to be a teacher, it just kind of gradually came from being
able to bring her with me and the convenience of not having to ask anyone [for help
with childcare],” she said. Bobbi taught for 10 years before transitioning into a social
work role when she decided to start and fund her own daycare.

“Schools are very stressful and my social work job is not stressful. I have peace of
mind to be able to do both and juggle based on need in my own life,” she said.

Bobbi now works at Brighton Center, the nonprofit organization that built the scholar
house that she lived in while continuing her education.

“I’ve been a part of them for so long,” she said. “Job opportunities fell in my lap from
being in the scholar house, from volunteering there and from my kids going to the
daycare that was connected to it.”

At Brighton Center, Bobbi is a Safety Net Alliance Specialist and she sends out emails
with information, events and resources and coordinates meetings to get more
resources shared out to the Northern Kentucky area.

A few years ago Bobbi saw a flyer in the lobby at work about starting your own
in-home daycare. “My coworker was like Bobbi, you should do this.”

“‘Why not? You know you can handle that.’ In the mirror talking to myself telling
myself that I could do it,” Bobbi said. “It wasn’t something that I dreamed of
forever, but when the idea was presented to me and everybody being so excited
and encouraging, that helped me. With everybody already believing that I can.
That pushed me.”

IMG_9906

Bobbi’s World – the name of the in-home daycare – plans to open in 6 months. Bobbi
has a counselor that has supported her throughout the process, from mapping out the
space to making sure all of the state requirements and certifications are taken care of.

“I had to get so many different little permits. ‘Oh, that’s $45’ or ‘Oh, that’s $80’,” Bobbi
said. “But me already having my budget planned out, I never really had money
leftover.” Having an extra source of income from the cash investment allowed Bobbi
to invest in her business while maintaining her household.

“I could pay all my permits, make sure I have gas in the car, go to Once Upon a Child to
purchase things for my daycare,” Bobbi said. “I have been able to manage my finances
better and not have to worry about certain bills and other things with the kids.”

“I can tell that my kids are a little bit happier not seeing me stressed. My oldest
especially,” Bobbi said. “I haven’t been as stress free as I am now.”

Bobbi plans to operate Bobbi’s World as an in-home daycare for five years, and then
look into getting her own building and taking the next steps in expanding.

“I’m excited, and super duper nervous. But I have a lot of support,” she said.

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