May 11, 2017
Where are they now: Angela Salas of Brilliant Futures Daycare
In our “Where Are They Now” series, we highlight successful businesses that are part of the Small Business Revolution and interview the owners to check in on their community, learn more about running a small business and see what they are up to now.
We first profiled Angela and Brilliant Futures Daycare in 2015, featuring the business in our mini documentary, which tells the stories of small businesses across the United States.
Angela Salas runs an at-home child care program dedicated towards providing high quality care service to children in the Bronx. Brilliant Futures focuses on healthy eating and learning through play. We caught up with Angela about her business, healthy eating, and what’s in store for the future.
What did it mean to you to be part of the Small Business Revolution?
It was exciting! I felt that I was highlighted, not only as a small business, but as a small daycare. In New York City, we have group family daycares that run in people’s homes and they hardly get publicity. People don’t know that small daycare businesses exist. It was a great opportunity to put our name out there as an alternative to more common daycares.
What’s one of the biggest challenges to owning a small business?
Being in New York City is expensive, so running a quality daycare can been pricey. One of the biggest challenges is managaing my budget while continuing to provide quality services at affordable prices. Unfortunately, we can’t reduce rates to make our services more affordable for more families simply because of the cost to be in New York City.
What makes you most proud to be a small business owner?
Personally, it was my dream to own a small daycare. I always had seen other people do their own daycares and worked with them but I had never done it myself. When I opened Brilliant Future Daycare, I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. But after achieving success, being my own boss, and working toward a quality program with a wait list, made me feel proud. I could finally talk the talk and walk the walk. In terms of my business, my team and I have worked together to achieve a lot: we are credited by the National Association for Family Childcare, the highest quality standard you can achieve, and we are the only nationally accredited program in the Bronx.
Having your business in the Bronx, how does the community tie into the success of your business?
The Bronx community where I work is very close-knit. The parents of the area have become a micro-community: they refer other parents to us, get the word out about openings we have, etc. People that are a part of the program revitialize our program every year as their kids outgrow. I want to grow the neighborhood that we are in and inform people that high quality child education can grow in the Bronx. Hopefully this inspires others in the area and grows the community.
How have you incorporated healthy eating into your daycare program?
It has been a big part of our initiative. We participate in the Child and Adult Food Program (CAFP) – a USDA approved program that provides aid to child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes for the provision of nutritious food. The food patterns outlined by CAFP changed as of October 1 and we were already implementing these guidelines, but now we are being recognized.
What can we expect to see from Brilliant Future Daycare in the future?
We are expanding and doing a second location in the area that one of my assistants is going to lead. It’s called Brilliant Futures Learning Center: a more hands on learning through play approach, inspired by Reggio Emilia, which is a child-centered nature play approach. The space has a huge backyard, something that we don’t have at our current location. We recognized a need from the parents that children wanted to not solely learn from inorganic materials. They liked the healthy, organic approach to child daycare. It’s still going to be nurturing and believing in attachment but the learning piece will be nature based and children will get to play more with natural materials.