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Debby Berthiaume knows what it's like to juggle family and career. As a single parent 20 years ago, she got the guilts when she was unable to find quality care for her four young daughters. Her solution? She quit her teaching job, rented a room in a church and with a $5,000 bank loan opened a childcare center for her children and four neighborhood youngsters.
The Woodland Village School in Agoura, California, expanded so steadily that Berthiaume is taking childcare in a bold new direction. Under the banner of Children's Wonderland and with $1 million in backing, she plans to open a dozen daycare centers over the next year in corporate clusters throughout Ventura County. By setting up shop in corporate parks, Berthiaume has hit upon an attractive package that meets the needs of everyone-parents, businesses and land developers. Moms and dads who work in nearby offices can drop by for lunch or a hug, companies are able to recruit employees and developers can attract major tenants.
Children's Wonderland is patterned after the Woodland Village School, which provides daycare for over 200 children on a nine-acre campus. The licensed center, open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., five days a week, emphasizes infant and toddler programs, allowing mothers …