Editor’s note: My Morning Out is a sponsor of Chambanamoms.
It takes a great reputation, loyal staff and a passion for nurturing little lives to keep a child care center thriving for half a century.
My Morning Out Childcare Center (MMO), formerly Mother’s Morning Out, has a name that is familiar to many in our community. Maybe it is because 50 years later, parents that were once students are choosing MMO for their own child care needs.
Andrew Harrington, dad to 3-year-old Fletcher and 7-month-old Nolan, went to MMO when it was housed at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Champaign in the 1980s.
“I remember playing in the large upstairs attic room and racing around on these little toy cars,” Harrington said. Now his older son enjoys racing around MMO’s “Big Room” in a fire truck at its current location at 1100 Broadmoor Drive in Champaign’s Temple Baptist Church.
“I continue to choose MMO because the teachers and staff are wonderful, and our son has made a lot of friends there,” Harrington said.
Couple Jaclyn and Will Aldridge attended MMO when they were little. Jaclyn attended the drop-in program while Will attended preschool. Their two children, Harrison, 5 ½-years-old and Genevieve 2 ½-years-old, use the facility in the same capacity their parents once did.
A unique element to MMO is their extended hours and long standing drop-in program. Not only does MMO have a traditional preschool format, but they provide drop-in hours for families that are looking for spontaneous child care.
“The drop-in option has turned out to be such a blessing, providing equally excellent care and friends with the added benefit of flexibility,” Aldridge said. “The hours are wonderful. They are longer than other preschools and allow me to work.”
MMO is open from 8:30 a.m. to noon with early and late options available.
Many parents trust MMO with their children because of the solid word-of-mouth reputation the school carries around town.
“We had friends who took their children there and they spoke so highly of the program,” Aldridge said. “I constantly meet other parents who’ve chosen MMO for their children, and we’re always happy with our choice.”
Danielle Bender, mom to 3-year-old Carter and 3-month-old Molly, went to MMO when she was a baby. Her son is currently enrolled while her baby girl will start MMO in the fall.
Her son, Carter, entertained parents at this year’s holiday performance with his enthusiastic dancing.
“I remember doing a holiday sing-a-long wearing antlers and bells on my ankles,” Bender said of her own childhood MMO experience.
She lives only minutes away from MMO and appreciates the convenience of the central location off Galen Drive. She added the reasonable pricing at MMO keeps her coming back year after year.
“It is affordable and well-respected,” Bender said.
While a lot has changed since the inception of MMO, much has stayed the same. Activities are still designed to foster enthusiasm and creativity and to introduce academics through play. MMO still believes that play is the basis for children’s learning. Through play children develop their social skills, discover the world around them and express their creativity.
It’s obvious from the roster, MMO is now serving a second generation of MMO families. Only it’s not just moms at drop off and pick up anymore. On any given day as many dads, grandparents and babysitters are seen at the school doors.
MMO isn’t just about giving “mothers” a “morning out” anymore. As they celebrate 50 years, they have changed their name to better reflect the care and service provided. Mother’s Morning Out is now known as My Morning Out. They’ll always be MMO, but their new name more accurately expresses their mission: to provide a safe, fun, nurturing environment where children can spend the morning playing, learning and growing together.
The name change and logo re-design are part of a campaign to celebrate the 50th year of MMO, raise funds to pay off their current debt and to fund building improvements in the future while generating excitement about MMO’s past, present and future.
If you would like to help fund an exciting future for MMO, buy tickets and attend “My Night Out Wine Tasting” at Art Mart on Thursday, March 30. Email [email protected] if you are interested. You can also donate directly to the cause.
Lastly, consider MMO for your child care needs. MMO is currently enrolling for fall. Become part of the lasting legacy that is MMO!