Faith Mendez insists that her win has less to do with her and more to do with the staff she values so deeply.
“We’re not a business, we’re a family,” said Mendez, who said most people know her as lsquo;Miss Fay.’
When Mendez started StarLight StarBright Play and Learn almost two years ago, she said her motivation was simple.
“I started it because I love kids,” she said. “You could have all the degrees in the world, but if you don’t love kids…”
The daycare, which is open to children six weeks to five years old, brings in children from many Philadelphia neighborhoods, Mendez said.
The studio space, now a bustling daycare open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. five days per week, was just a shell before Mendez took over.
Once Mendez and her family members stepped in—her staff includes four daughters and four nieces, and her young granddaughter is a daycare student—she said creating a happy environment was the first order of business.
“You gotta make it fun,” she said of her work. “It takes good parents and good people.”
As 12 of the daycare’s students graduate this month, Mendez said it breaks her heart to see them go. For her, it’s like saying goodbye to family members.
“I don’t want it to be ‘best business owner’ this year,” she said. “I want it to be ‘family of the year.’”
Call the daycare center at 267-455-0588 and visit the Facebook page by searching for “StarLight StarBright Play and Learn.”
- Mikala Jamison
Runner Up: Kelly Krecko Albano, owner of Kiddie Garden Daycare with three locations. Contact at 215-634-2570.