Marketplace: New children’s academy to open in Kamas
JaCie Butters loves serving people. She worked for years as a Certified Nursing Assistant and recently ran several programs including activities and nutrition at Elk Meadows Assisted Living in Oakley.
Once she had children of her own, however, it became necessary to change age groups. On August 1, Butters will open AristoCat Children’s Academy in the old Kamas Health Center building across from the Food Town.
It’s not her first foray into childcare. Prior to specializing in older adults, she worked several years at daycares and even ran a small one out of her home.
Her reason for opening an academy is to provide a more structured curriculum that supports in-school learning, Butters explained.
Her support for local schools is what inspired the unique name. Most of her clients will eventually become South Summit High School Wildcats. She wanted a name that dovetailed with that, but also sounded dignified.
Aristocrats are supposed to be superior, and a superior experience is what Butters aims to provide, she said.
"I wanted to do something to support other working moms in the county in a way I’d want my child taken care of," Butters explained.
The facility at 231 South 175 West has two main rooms. The larger one will house the mixed-age class with toddlers and older kids which she plans to cap at 17 students. The smaller room will be home to the infant class which will be capped at six children.
The academy will accept students ranging in ages from newborn to 12 years. She plans to eventually have three teachers.
A public school bus route passes the academy so parents with school age children may drop them off at the center to take the bus to and from Kamas schools, she said.
Teachers can help those same children with their homework after school until parents pick them up.
Infant children will likewise have a structured curriculum that focuses on basic language and motor skills. For example, small children enjoy learning sign language before they master speech to explain what they want before they know the words, Butters explained.
The primary goal for the younger children is to make them as ready for kindergarten as possible, she said.
"I’m not a babysitter; I’m a school for children up to 12 years to help them succeed in school as best as possible," Butters added.
The outdoor area wraps around three sides of the property, creating what she believes to be the largest playground offered by a childcare in the Kamas Valley.
Having had to balance family and a career herself, Butters said she knows what mothers worry about and offers a service they can feel good about. The only videos watched are educational and full supervision is provided the entire time
"The teachers are trained, certified and know what needs to happen to help children excel," she said.
The academy will host an open house July 23 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to allow parents a look at the facility and a chance to learn more about the curriculum.
AristoCat Children’s Academy provides lunch and snacks for children and will accept government aid money for childcare and will match prices for clients wishing to switch, she said.
AristoCat Children’s Academy
231 South 175 West
View AristoCat Children’s Academy in a larger map
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