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Women In Business — 11

country kids Continued From Page 10

Daughter Stephanie now works at Country Kids while daughter Sarah, studying to be a nurse, also has logged some shifts at the local center. Daughter Samantha is a senior this year at Ripon Christian and Sydney, the youngest, is in seventh grade at Ripon Christian. Husband Jeff Briggs has been active periodically in the center operation but also works as an emergency planner for SMUD. Offering a full day of care for parents that work, Country Kids is both a preschool and a child care center, with emphasis on learning and development. “We are licensed for 78,” Briggs said. “The en-

rollment varies from day to day.” With strong numbers this year, Briggs said the center did have a downturn in about 2006, but weathered that storm and has seen steady improvement. “Our staff is about 16 people,” she explained. “We have four preschool classes, two teachers for Pre-Kindergarten, and we do have structured academics, especially for our Pre-K. They want them to learn so much before they get to kindergarten.” Along with the classes, there are after school students that attend County Kids. For Briggs, part of the benefit is having former students come back to say hello. “We just had a young man in his early 20s, he was always in trouble as a kid, come back,”

noted Briggs excitedly of the visit, with the young adult now doing well. “He wanted to thank us for what we had done.” Open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., some youngsters attend every day, others sporadically and there are also choices of morning or afternoon preschool sessions. “Each has their own age group,” Briggs explained of keeping youngsters together with their peers. During the summer, and as they can during the school year, there are some special activities for the school age children, including walking field trips. “We had a busy summer,” noted Briggs of having plenty of kids enrolled for care during the break from school. Sometimes they also have local police, firefighters or businesspeo-

ple come to the school for special occasions, bringing a field trip in to the younger set. With older daughter Stephanie settling in to work at the center, she makes the third generation of the family to have a hand in running the business. And while they are relatively full right now, Briggs said those with questions about enrolling can contact Country Kids at 209-838-1600. “We hate to turn anybody away,” she said. Children from 18 months to 12 years old can be served at Country Kids and Briggs said though it is a tough job, it has its rewards and there’s one specific reason she enjoys what she does. “Just making a difference,” she said, getting kids pointed in the right direction as they head to school and beyond.

Youngsters enjoy some free play time in the side yard at Country Kids Child Development Center on Miller Avenue in Escalon, a business that has been serving the community for over 20 years. Photo By Marg Jackson

Maribeth Reece Realtor

(L to R) Joan Witt - Store Manager and Leanne Jones Cruz - Owner

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