Construction to meet needs of growing number of local families

With six day care or preschool facilities proposed or under construction, young families in the western Travis County region will have a variety of options to meet their child care needs.

The Goddard School

Two locations of The Goddard School national preschool franchises are planned for the near future. The first location is proposed for Steiner Ranch's Quinlan Crossing shopping center, 5145 N. RR 620, Austin, and is set for a winter opening, Public Relations Manager Beth Morino said. The second location is slated for the Lakeway Medical Village, 3000 S. RR 620, Lakeway, but no opening date has been set, she said.

"The [Four Points and Lakeway sites were] chosen because [they are] a great fit for Goddard Systems Inc.'s traditional suburban growth model," Morino said. "[They are communities] of primarily single-family homes of above-average home values, with an affluent, education-oriented, family-based community."

She cited the areas' demographics, including population density, children of preschool age, active new home construction and continued population growth, as reasons for branching out into the western Travis County suburbs.

Little Sunshine's

Little Sunshine's Playhouse and Preschool received unanimous approval by Lakeway City Council on March 17 to operate as a day care facility.

Based in Missouri, the school will open its first Texas franchise in the Southlake Carroll area in the fall and projects to build approximately 10 locations in the Austin metro area in the next three to five years, said Rochette Dahler, founder and chief executive officer.

She said the Lakeway franchise site is set for an early 2015 opening. The facility will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekly and will accept between 100 and 150 students between the ages of 6 weeks and 6 years old.

Dahler said she was drawn to Lakeway's small-town charm and the new developments growing in the area. She cited similarities between the Lake Travis region and the company's Dallas-area build—families who push for higher education and value early education. She said she called other child care locations in the area, and most had waitlists.

"There's an awakening in this industry because people realize the impact of early education," Dahler said.

Bee Cave

Bright Horizons Family Solutions, a hybrid child care and early education preschool, was issued a site permit Jan. 14 for a proposed facility at 14058 Bee Cave Parkway, Bee Cave, and its building plans are in review, said Darlene French, Bee Cave Planning and Development Department administrative assistant. The Tuscany/Mt. Laurel–area facility will be located on a pad site in front of senior living facilities currently under construction in the planned development district, she said.

Bright Horizons corporate staffers—Teresa Nations, director of Real Estate Development, and Debi Hart, senior director of Client Services—said that since their facility requires parents to park and sign in their children for care, a child loading zone would not be needed. However, buses will not be permitted on-site.

"In terms of public input and where we ended up, we have a project that I think we really can be proud of and brings a use—day care—which we really need," Mayor Caroline Murphy said.

The facility will provide care for a maximum of 232 children year-round as well as a summer camp to help with the needs of parents who have children in the program, Nations said. The site will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. during the week, she said.

Site plans for Gateway to Falconhead's proposed day care center at 3526 S. RR 620, Bee Cave, are under review by the city after being submitted for approval July 16, French said.

A concept plan for a third day care facility in The Park at Bee Cave, 3944 S. RR 620, Bee Cave, was submitted to the city's Planning and Development Department May 10, but a site plan has not yet been filed, she said.

Lupine Lane School Relocates, expands

Lauren Boyle, Lupine Lane director and founder, said she is amazed at how her idea for a preschool has grown from sponsoring enrichment classes at the Lakeway Activity Center in 2008 to the grand opening of a 7,200-square-foot facility in Rough Hollow at 1001 Highlands Blvd., Lakeway, in April.

After relocating from a single classroom in Lakeway's Abercorn International School to a temporary building, Boyle received a $2.4 million loan to construct the new seven-classroom facility, she said. Boyle said the building is accessible to residents in the Lakeway and Bee Cave communities, a factor she said enabled her to finance the program.

Boyle said she is able to accept 105 children in the new school and has plans to add two additional teachers. She said that even pregnant moms-to-be are on the school's wait list.

Lupine Lane caters to children ages 2 1/2 to 6 years old and includes a private kindergarten and summer camps.

"I'm excited to get settled," Boyle said. "We've been in constant growth mode for so long."