'Jewel' of a daycare opening soon 7.31.2004
Daycare for children b whs. to a yrs 010 Opening in August hr reiiir)li8A fftferffl?!is: . . - w w - fs.t!llljjielstri8C8aier.EB - 3 i ' i Hi "1 V I. , ' 7 -- t- t ' ' sir i" - 81 B9 . V tl - u Hi miki,,,,,, " .i.h7 i lJP&t 1 1111 " M" 1 MIU'MWffut I The PantaqraphLYNDSIE SCHLINK The Little Jewels Learning Center at 4117 E. Oakland Ave. in Bloomington will provide daycare for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age. Owner Julie Dobski plans to open the daycare center Aug. 9. 'Jewel' of a daycare opening soon By Chris Anderson candersonpantaqraph.com BLOOMINGTON Daycare centers and restaurants may not appear to have much in common, but both focus on people. That's why longtime McDonald's restaurant owner Julie Dobski has built Little Jewels Learning Center near Towanda Barnes Road and East Oakland Avenue on Bloomington's far east side. It's tentatively set to open Aug. 9. "I actually talked to DCFS (Illinois Department of Children and Family Services) about a daycare center 12 years ago. I think it's time," said Dobski. "I love the restaurant business, but not because of the restaurant itself. It's about people. This is very much about people, too." Dobski said Little Jewels will take a unique, community center approach to learning. Dobski is relying on existing community partnerships to help run Little Jewels Learning Center Address: 4117 E. Oakland Ave., Bloomington Ages served: Six weeks to 5 years Amenities: Classrooms, kitchen, conference room, faculty room and play area Open house: 1 to 3 p.m. Friday Little Jewels. For example, McLean County Master Gardeners will teach children at the center. She's also enlisted Illinois Wes-leyan University to provide a music program. Several departments at Illinois State University and Heartland Community College will provide additional program direction. Little Jewels staff will be able to care for 103 children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old at 4117 E. Oakland Ave. The 10,000- square-foot facility features six classrooms, a large kitchen, conference room, faculty room and play area. . Dobski, who owns nine McDonald's restaurants in the Twin Cities and McLean with her husband, Bob, has hired Eureka College graduate Julie Zeleznik as director. But Dobski plans to be a daily presence at the daycare center. "I want to be hands-on. People need to know that we're locally owned and operated," said Dobski, who will also remain involved in the restaurant business. The learning center's name stems from Dobski's nickname of Jewels. She noted that each child is a precious jewel. Rates vary from $160 to $205 per week, depending on age. The center still has a few openings, she added. Little Jewels Learning Center will be open to visitors from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday. Dobski added that tours can also be made by appointment.