As the coordinator of the early childhood education program at Owensboro Community and Technical College, Dr. Michelle Edwards has enjoyed the opportunity to attend several national conferences and trainings. One theme she observed woven throughout each early educator training was brain development.
“The brain is still developing after birth,” Edwards said. “It is so exciting to have the opportunity to work in partnership with parents to help their child reach their full potential.”
When Edwards earned her doctorate degree in early childhood education, she completed her dissertation work on how children learn best through play. At the time, she didn’t know that her work would be applied to starting a business of her own.
Edwards and her daughter-in-law Keeley Edwards will be opening a new childcare facility, Blissful Beginnings on the eastside of Owensboro in early August. The inspiration for the facility name came from Keeley’s middle name “bliss.” The pair, who describe themselves as passionate about early childhood learning, are excited to offer parents another option in childcare.
“I love play the most. I make a pretty mean tub of gak,” Edwards said. “Blissful Beginnings will be a place of laughter, fun and learning through play.”
Keeley, who has two young children of her own, says she has always felt a call to children. Through working in children’s ministry at her church and several programs that involve children, she found her passion. She attempted to open a school once before, but said she just couldn’t get the timing right when a building lease fell through. This time, it all fell into place.
Keeley plans to use her experience from working in the nursery, serving in the classroom for preschool, and years of office administrative work to apply it to her new role as the director at Blissful Beginnings. Working alongside her mother-in-law is something she is looking forward to.
“She’s definitely qualified for this; she’s brilliant,” Keeley Edwards said. “It’s pretty great to have her as a mother-inlaw because she drives me along and pushes me to do better.”
According to Edwards, the new school will have a different feel than other preschools and daycare facilities. The building has been recently renovated and everything is brand new. The newly hired preschool teacher, Ashley Ware, is a recent graduate of the Eastern Kentucky University. Ware is also excited about her new position and has already started working on her lesson plans. In addition to basic childcare, there will be instruction taught to preschool-aged children in the morning through a more regimented lesson and the afternoon hours will be spent reiterating the lesson concepts through play.
“I am most excited about meeting our families and getting to know them,” Edwards said. “Every family is unique. My husband always says when you understand the value of people you are close to understanding the heart of God.”
Blissful Beginnings is located right off the bypass on Highway 144. Tentative hours are 7:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. but they are working to meet the needs of their parents. The childcare facility is enrolling students now. According to Keeley Edwards, this is the first of a few locations. Once they get settled, they may start looking for another new location to open.
“Our hearts are in it. It’s not just a job to us. We are anointed to do this,” Keeley Edwards said. “I can’t walk away from it. Families trust us with their children.”
For more information on Blissful Beginnings, contact Dr. Michelle Edwards at 270-314-2394 or email [email protected].