Women2Women - Summer 2017 - 26

Work2Life

AN INNOVATIVE

Alternative
TO TRADITIONAL
Daycare
Businesswoman Amy Koller Aims to
Restore the Career-Life Balance
Amy Koller

Owner/Founder, Forever Kids at Heart, LLC
foreverkidsatheart.com, 484-650-3474

By Leah Williams
s a mother of two children, Amy Koller has been through the
struggle of balancing her career and marriage along with the
rushing around to the various after-school activities for her son and
daughter. With a background in business and finance, Koller decided
to design her own business model as a solution to the struggle that
working parents, especially mothers, face on a daily basis. Now the
founder of Forever Kids at Heart, LLC, an innovative Berks County
before/after school and summer program, Koller exclaimed, "You
don't have to do it anymore!"
While traditional daycares provide before/after school programs
and summer programs, Koller explained that her program is "not
a daycare, not even close." Koller had previously enrolled her own
son, now 15, in daycare, but felt he was being babysat more than
mentally stimulated, and she continued to struggle with transporting
her son to his after-school activities.

After picking the children grades K-8
up from school, her program functions
as an extension of the school day.
First, everyone completes his or her
homework with her staff, then they can
play ping pong, foosball, Xbox, or relax
on the recliners and watch a movie,
Koller's goal is to complete the struggle of homework and after-school
activities under her watch so that "parents can actually enjoy quiet
time with their children." A typical day in Koller's program follows
the schedule of work hard first, play hard later. She explained that
after picking the children grades K-8 up from school, her program
functions as an extension of the school day. First, everyone completes
his or her homework with her staff, then they can play ping pong,
foosball, Xbox, or relax on the recliners and watch a movie, all of
which are not typical activities found in traditional daycares.
A major difference from traditional daycares is that Koller's program
provides transportation services to and from after-school activities,
26 Women2Women Summer 2017

such as practice for sports
or dance. With the use
of SmartCare technology, parents can receive
a notification through
an app on their phone
when their children arrive
safely to their activity or
have checked in/out of
the center at Forever
Kids at Heart.
Koller hopes that her
program will aid in "raising young adults so that
they are contributors to
society." She emphasized
the importance of incorporating real life lessons
into any before/after school program. At Forever Kids at Heart, Koller
works with the older children to develop life skills such as cooking,
sewing, laundry and balancing a checkbook.
Koller's program is not limited to working parents. "If you have
a child, we're here to help you," said Koller. Stay-at-home parents,
especially those who have multiple children, could also benefit from
a program like hers, as "moms can't be three places at once."
Any before/after school program should "go beyond just having
a positive effect on the child. It should have a snowball effect on the
core of the family," said Koller. Her only wish is that "something
like this would've been around with my son. It would have been a
lifesaver." Her first location, in Sinking Spring, serves elementary and
middle school children in Wilson, Wyomissing and Conrad Weiser
School Districts as well as St. Ignatius Loyola Regional School/Berks
Catholic. She is currently working to expand her program into school
districts throughout Berks County. n


http://www.foreverkidsatheart.com

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