HAGERSTOWN — Diane Holzberger, who wanted to spend more time with her children, figured the best way to do that while bringing in some income was to provide day care in her own home.
After seven years as a licensed day-care provider, she and her husband, Pete, opened Bright Eyes Child Care in Silver Spring, Md., in 1991.
Twenty years later, the couple has opened their 10th center, this one in the Light Business Park off Eastern Boulevard in Hagerstown.
Bright Eyes has been open since late August, but Tuesday was the grand opening, with a ribbon cutting, and city Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II and state Sen. Chris Shank among those attending.
Bright Eyes is licensed to care for up to 144 children ranging in age from 6 weeks to 12 years, Holzberger said. In addition to care for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, the center has before- and after-school care for elementary school students and summer care for school-age children, she said.
The family-owned business has seven centers in Montgomery County, Md., and two in Frederick County, Md., Holzberger said. The new center currently has 10 employees, but could employ 35 or 40 when it reaches full enrollment, she said.
The 10 centers employ about 175 people, Pete Holzberger said.
“I supplied the business acumen and, with her child-care expertise, we make a pretty good team,” he said.
“One of the important things we offer is that parents can put all their children in one day-care facility and meet all their day-care needs under one roof,” Diane Holzberger said. That includes transportation to and from some area elementary schools, she said.
“We believe very strongly in a curriculum-based program,” Diane Holzberger said.
That includes the Maryland Department of Education-approved Houghton Mifflin curriculum for preschoolers to provide them the skills they need to enter kindergarten, she said.
Bright Eyes is a secure facility, requiring a code to enter the classroom area and television cameras in the rooms, Diane Holzberger said.
“The playgrounds are a great place for the kids to be active and have fun,” said Laura Kefauver, a preschool teacher at Bright Eyes who said she had five years of preschool teaching experience before joining the center.
Bruchey was also impressed by the fenced playgrounds, and the landscaping of mulch and turf that would allow a soft landing for any children who take a tumble.
“When we were growing up, it was all concrete,” the mayor said.