Lakeway day care owner follows her passion

Six years ago elementary school teacher Claudete Gunsalus moved to Austin with the hope of finding her next venture.

While weighing a return to teaching, Gunsalus found the opportunity to continue her passion of child care by taking over Lakeway-based Kid-E-Shack in 2011.

"Kids ask me, 'Mrs. Claudete, do you work?' I say, 'No, I don't work. I just play all day long.' We play all day long [at Kid-E-Shack]," she said.

Kid-E-Shack is an hourly child care service that allows parents to drop off their children—18 months old to 14 years old—without a reservation, though reservations are available for parents who prefer that option. The day care charges $10 per hour for the first child and $5 and $2.50 for the second and third child, respectively. Blocks of discounted times are also available.

Allowing the flexible drop-off system is important for parents who want a night out or have an emergency come up, Gunsalus said.

"When the kids are here, especially the ones who have been dropped off because their parents are having a hard time, we make sure that the kids are fine here, that they're not worrying about what's happening with their families. They're just enjoying the time here," Gunsalus said.

The recommended capacity for Kid-E-Shack is 14 children for every staff member, but Gunsalus said she prefers to operate with 10 children for each staff member, so each child will get the attention they need.

There is no set schedule or structure for children at Kid-E-Shack, Gunsalus said, other than the rule that everyone must treat each other kindly and with respect.

"Instead of having a babysitter at your home, here the kids are socializing," Gunsalus said. "Some parents use Kid-E-Shack as a reward. It's a reward for doing well in school."

Kid-E-Shack, 1508 S. RR 620, Ste. 103, Lakeway, 512-402-0077,

  • Mon.–Thu 9 a.m.–10 p.m.

  • Fri.–Sat. 9 a.m.–midnight