BY LAURA ROSS | PHOTOS BY CHRISTIAN WATSON
Jenny and Scotty Hupp are living the dream.
Daily, they’re surrounded by nearly 100 toddlers and preschoolers and all the glorious mess, chaos, sticky fingers, tearful tantrums, dirty diapers, and boisterous cacophony they can stand.
And, they love it.
The husband-wife team own and operate Cheerful Children Daycare/Preschool Center in New Albany. In 2011, they left jobs in the corporate and business community to follow their passion for children and education and have never looked back.
“I was on my way home from work one night late, and I called my husband and said, ‘I’m done,’” recalled Jenny. She studied early childhood education in college but detoured to raise a family and work in sales for the Indiana Lottery. Starting a daycare was always in the back of her mind, and she knew the time was right.
“My love has always been with kids,” Jenny said. “I thought, I just gave up a company car, great paying job and insurance. What have I done?? But I opened a family home daycare in September 2011, and I ran it for six years. We had 16 children and families and were successful. It was the perfect situation.”
Scotty joined Jenny in 2013, and in 2016, a building that formerly housed a daycare came up for sale at 1615 Grant Line Road in New Albany. “Scotty and I walked in and we just had this vision,” Jenny said. “It hit home that we can make this work. We put an offer in, and my husband and his friend renovated the entire inside and outside, working 15 hours a day. We opened Cheerful Children in August 2016 with 32 kids. From there, it went crazy. We are on a 15-month waiting list right now and have 96 kids, 20 employees, and it’s the best decision we’ve ever made.”
Cheerful Children accepts students from 12 months through 5 years old. The preschool is focused on offering a structured curriculum designed to build a foundation of knowledge and critical thinking skills to foster mental, social, emotional, and physical development in a secure, happy environment. Preschool teachers are certified in first aid and CPR and all are cleared through a criminal background check and drug testing.
“Our staff provides a family atmosphere,” said Jenny. “Many have been with us from the start. They love these kids and are in constant communication with the parents. We provide a positive learning experience and keep the children engaged and active all day long.”
Children participate in learning centers and preschool development in the mornings, then enjoy lunch and nap time in the afternoon before