Founder Kelley Lewis with her 3 children, Trent, Casey, & Norah
BungalowBranch is a private in-home family-based child care company and franchise. Kelley Lewis founded the program back in 2008, an aspiring stay-at-home mom who wanted so much to be able to leave her job and stay home with her 8-month old son, Trent. She knew first-hand how stressful it was finding someone she felt comfortable leaving her son with; this along with finding somewhere that was flexible, professional, affordable, safe, homey, and took infants… nearly impossible. She didn’t know why she didn’t think of it sooner; creating an in-home family-based child care program that takes the best of what centers have to offer and put it in a safe, nurturing, and professional in-home setting – a home away from home! From being a nanny for 5-years, a preschool music teacher, having a big family and a Master’s in social work, to having her own child, Kelley did just that and set out to create the best in-home child care center, Cassingham Child Care in Bexley, Ohio. (Spoiler Alert! Cassingham Child Care was BungalowBranch’s 1st location before BungalowBranch was even created or thought of.)
Within six months, Kelley’s unique and quality program gained a whirlwind of a reputation within her neighborhood and she found herself with a six-month waiting list. Since Kelley could only have six children at a time and had no turnover, she had nowhere to make room for her waiting list families who were begging for a spot. So in 2010, Kelley had the idea to expand; opening another location within her neighborhood that would be trained and working under her guidance, expertise, and maintaining the quality and unique characteristics Kelley had developed. The single location, Cassingham Child Care was no more and Family Traditions Child Care (FTCC) was born – the 1st in-home child care company. (Spoiler Alert! Family Traditions Child Care turned into BungalowBranch.)
As we all know, our little teeny-tiny babies don’t stay so teeny-tiny for very long, so once the babies grew into active toddlers and inquisitive preschoolers, families were then asking how FTCC could accommodate the older ages with the appropriate curriculum, but still in the in-home environment they had grown accustom. Kelley then went back to the drawing board and emerged with the idea of opening a third location that would be FTCC’s in-home preschool. In the fall of 2011, FTCC opened its third location’s doors and welcomed their first preschool and pre-k class!
As FTCC’s waiting list kept growing, so did Kelley’s ideas and she started to see how the small home daycare she created had the potential to grow into a large company. Kelley had an undying passion to create something that had never been done before and to make something bigger than anyone thought could be done for in-home daycare. She met with mentoring entrepreneurs and business attorneys to find the best path for her idea and emerged with her branded company and now franchise, BungalowBranch. Proudly BungalowBranch is the nation’s first and only in-home child care franchise.
Not only is BungalowBranch a unique child care option for families, it’s also a company that provides a unique career opportunity to women looking for a meaningful and authentic job working from home with their own children. As a single mom of three young children, Kelley knew firsthand what this career path had done for her and her family and how it had changed her and her family’s life. “Being a home child care provider, I’m allowed unmatched flexibility with my time and financial resources I could not find in any other job. I can’t imagine doing anything else and my children and I being any happier with having the time and opportunity to be a unified family. So many single moms struggle and I’m so happy I have found a solution that solves most of the single-mom stressors,” says Kelley. With this journey under Kelley’s belt, not only is it her mission to grow BungalowBranch to reach families in need of amazing child care, but to also reach those women who have a passion for living a better, more fulfilled life. Click here to learn about Kelley’s tiny house project she is building with her three children thanks to the flexibility she’s gained by being an in-home child care provider. Her tiny house has been featured in the Columbus Dispatch and SeekerNetwork.com with Laura Ling.
“It’s truly been a labor of love. I have had the humbling opportunity to work with so many amazing families. Creating and growing BungalowBranch is unlike any other experience and it has given me opportunities I would have never had otherwise. My first son, Trent is my muse and being able to not miss much of his early years, along with my other two children, is priceless. My ideas and visions stem from a parent’s perspective and a child’s heart and that’s why I think our program has done as well as it has and is expanding by demand. I love what I do and all the people, big and small, I get to work with everyday. This is definitely my life’s work and doing it in such a way that allows me to experience my children, other’s children, families, and help my community, makes this not a job, not a career, but a mission.” – Kelley Lewis, President & Founder
Listen to Kelley talk about how she developed Cassingham Child Care – Where it all began Cassingham Interview