Instilling a Love of Learning with an Emphasis on Native American Culture

Success Story: Idaho

Tiny Tots Learning CenterBefore starting Tiny Tots Learning Center in Lapwai, Idaho, the Penneys – Bobbie, Santee and Lindsay – came to the SBDC for help with market research and business planning. They identified how to differentiate their business from the competition by remaining open later and accepting drop-ins for a daily rate.

The business opened with an at-home location in October, 2014. The team worked to develop policies, obtain licensing, participate in the USDA nutrition program, and obtain Idaho Stars certification.

Their diverse strengths helped the owners manage the demands of running a new day-care facility in a small town. Lindsay brings past day-care management experience. Santee is an amazing male role model for the young children and serves as the social connector for the business. Bobbie’s background has been valuable in developing curriculum, building connections, examining the financials, and sharing their story.

By March, 2015, they were at capacity with 12 children and a growing wait list. Working with the SBDC, Bobbie presented their business plan to the Nez Perce Tribal Finance Committee, who agreed to lease them a larger facility. 

Since the move, Tiny Tots Learning Center has blossomed. Their capacity has increased, as has their revenue. The Penneys are proud of accomplishing their goal of creating a positive learning environment for young children every day.

“Working with the SBDC required us to think about our goals and gave us the confidence to start,” says co-owner Bobbie Penney.

To learn more about Tiny Tots, click here. For more about the Idaho SBDC, click here.