New daycare offers drop-in service

By Douglas McCulloch | Nov 24, 2017
Photo by: Douglas McCullooch Owners Sonya Ustinovich and Nadine Sorelle in front of a toy jungle gym in their daycare.

For parents, an unexpected night on the town, family emergency, or a few hours of peace and quiet can be challenging with childcare needs. Two sisters have a solution: drop-in daycare.

It’s called Little Learners Stay and Play, which owners Sonya Ustinovich and Nadine Sorelle describe as the first of its kind drop-in daycare on the South Coast. Instead of calling ahead and scheduling routine day-to-day childcare, parents can drop their kids off at the Faunce Corner Road location at any time for up to a maximum of four hours - no advance reservations or pre-planning needed.

The idea was born out of the sisters’ own parenting struggles and challenges in finding reliable childcare on short notice.

“We found there’s a need for occasional care,” Sorelle said. “This is perfect for moms who want to go to a yoga class or go out, and I would have loved to have a place like this when my kids were small.”

After securing a location in a storefront at 125 Faunce Corner Road, the pair spent several months designing the facility, which includes a play area, lounge area for quieter kids, and plenty of toys and games. The daycare officially opened for business on November 17.

“We wanted to do a soft opening to get into a routine,” Ustinovich said. “There’s been a lot of interest on social media and word of mouth.”

Ustinovich and Sorelle are no stranger to childcare. In addition to being parents themselves, the pair opened Little Learners of Westport in 2008, which they still run today. They drew on their experience growing up in their mother’s home-run daycare, and were inspired upon becoming parents to pursue their passion full-time.

With word spreading on Facebook and by word of mouth, the owners anticipate business to ramp up in the coming month as holiday shopping kicks into full gear.

“We hope to accommodate a lot of people out shopping,” Sorelle said. “We’re open later on the weekends too.”

Stephanie Karam, who sent two of her kids to the Westport daycare, anticipates taking advantage of the drop-in program frequently.

“I don’t have to sign him up for a whole week’s schedule if I have an appointment or errand,” Karam said.

The daycare is open from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 3-7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 3-8 p.m. on Fridays, and from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. on Saturdays.

For more information, visit the Little Learners Stay and Play Facebook page.

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