Diane Rosecrans said she can’t imagine doing anything else besides teaching preschoolers.
“This age is magic,” said Rosecrans. “They change and grow so fast every day. I love them.”
For the past 15 years, she’s owned and run Circle of Learning, Inc., a preschool in south Napa.
1. You’ve worked in preschool education for more than 30 years. How many children have you taught in that time?
Probably thousands by now. I’ve had past students come here and enroll their children. It makes me feel old but it’s amazing.
2. How did you get into this business?
After taking my first child development course at Napa Valley College, I was hooked. Carole Kent was my instructor, and was also the one who really inspired me. I worked in various programs, public and private in the Napa Valley. And in 1999 the opportunity to have my own center presented itself, and here we are today.
3. How many children can you enroll?
We are licensed for 30, but I don’t go over 24.
4. What’s a common misconception you get about your business?
That it’s just babysitting. This is high-quality education. We do all the academic concepts prior to primary school. We teach all day, every day. It’s not just care.
5. What is the tuition?
We charge $780 per month (for full-time enrollment).
6. How do you keep a preschool running smoothly?
No. 1, you establish relationships with each child. It’s a consistent day and consistent expectations. And they live up to what you expect of them. They know the routine of the day, but you keep the day full of interesting things to do.
7. What’s your advice to someone who wants to get into preschool teaching?
It’s a commitment. You do not do this for the money, it’s a passion you have for children. But it’s so worth it.
8. What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
The hardest thing that I am faced with in this business is running a quality program with low teacher-to-student ratios. My focus is always what is best for children. This doesn’t always result in the best bottom line financially. Staff are often the unsung heroes.
9. What’s on your to-do list?
One thing on my to-do list is to write a book. The focus of this book would be to share my experiences with others to help them understand basic needs and development of children. These basic needs of children are often taking a back seat to today’s lifestyles.
10. What is one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet?
In my lifetime I would like to raise awareness of how critical these early learning years really are. My goal is to build a solid foundation that will result in confident, independent and strong adults.
Bonus questions for the web:
Which three people would you most like to have dinner with?
My husband, son and daughter-in-law, and daughter. Sorry, that is four people.
What job would you like to try/not try?
Try: Travel agent/tour guide
Not try: Police officer
What was your first job?
I worked at Foster’s Freeze on Imola in Napa while finishing high school.
What’s the worst job you ever had?
As a student aide at Napa State Hospital on a psychiatric unit.
Who do you most admire in the business world?
I admire Bob Fox of Fox Racing Shocks for his commitment and determination to believe in yourself.
If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
If I could change one thing in my business it would be that I could serve more children and families.
What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I don’t have a smart phone and don’t use social media.
What was your childhood ambition?
To be an elementary school teacher. I was positively influenced by many teachers and that is what I wanted for myself.
If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
On a lovely vacation for some much-needed down time.