10 — Women In Business
Right At Home
Country Kids Providing Care For Over 20 Years By MARG JACKSON
After the birth of her first daughter in 1992, Dawn Briggs came to a realization. She didn’t want to leave her daughter to go back to work. So instead, she made her home her workplace, teaming up with her mother to offer an inhome day care. From that humble beginning some 24 years ago grew what has become the Country Kids Child Development Center. Admitting when she first wanted to stay at home with newborn daughter Stephanie, Briggs said she never anticipated that decision to eventually lead to the
full-fledged center the business now occupies on Miller Avenue in Escalon. “Nothing like this,” she admitted of what she thought the future might bring all those years ago. “It’s amazing.” Attending classes at both Modesto Junior College and Stanislaus State, Briggs has found her work to be rewarding and ever-changing, balancing the business with raising four daughters. “Since 1996 we have been here,” she said of the Miller Avenue property. “This was an orchard, we built the building here, it all worked.” Interested in child care and development since high school, she started
her career at The Learning Tree in Escalon and then moved on to be assistant director at ECS (Escalon Children’s Services), a summer and after-school program. “My sister (Lori Carpenter) started the ECS,” Briggs explained. “Education is in the family.” While Briggs was struggling with the decision to leave her young daughter, her mother – Charlene Hutson – was learning she would be without a job, as the trucking firm she worked for at the time was closing. “She went back to college,” Briggs said of her mother, doing her coursework in child development as well. country kids Page 11
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Three generations of working women help keep Country Kids Child Development Center running like clockwork, with Dawn Briggs, center, the director of the center, assisted by daughter Stephanie, left, and mom Charlene Hutson, right. Photo By Marg Jackson
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