Our History by Carolyn Matthews
My mother was the most devoted "housewife" that I have ever known. Momma's day was filled with cooking, baking, washing dishes, hanging our freshly washed laundry on a clothesline, ironing, working in her many flower gardens and of course raising three children at the same time. That is what "stay at home" moms did back in the 50's & 60's. Although the work was hard, it was obvious to us that Momma loved every minute of her day. Momma also babysat in our home for her friends. One child, Stevie, was born with Cerebral Palsy. My inspiration to care for others was born from watching my Mother lovingly care for this child that could not speak, could not sit up on his own and had no use of his little arms or legs. All Stevie could do was make eye contact and smile but there was not a doubt in my mind that he loved my Momma.
My child care career was launched in my teenage years babysitting for several families from our church. I am still in contact with one of those Moms, Helen Brown. Helen was mother to six children and her youngest Andrew was a newborn when I first babysat for her. I don't remember exactly how old I was but I am certain by today's standards I was very young for the responsibility of caring for six children! The experience and knowledge I gained during those years of caring for babies guided me as I had my own children. My mother passed down to me the love of being a housewife, a mother and a nurturing caregiver.
After moving to Wimberley, Texas in 1984 a friend from church asked me if I would be able to care for her two young daughters. Since I was a "stay at home" mom of three sons, Austen 7, Brian 4 and John 2, I thought "what's two more?" After about two weeks another friend asked if I could also care for her two children. I have always felt that the child care profession chose me! Over the next thirteen years I operated "Child Care with Love" a Licensed Child Care home in Wimberley.
In 1989, I attended the first conference for family child care providers in Texas. This conference ended with the beginning of the Texas Professional Home Child Care Association. During this conference I was introduced to the importance of professionalism in child care and to be an advocate for my profession. I joined TPHCCA as a charter member and later on served as a Regional Representative. This experience allowed me to provide resources and training to other home child care providers in the Austin area. During the early 90's I served on an advisory committee for Child Care Licensing which gave me the opportunity to be a part of the revision process of the Minimum Standards for child care homes. I continued to attend annual conferences and monthly training and in 1994 through Austin Community College I received my Child Development Associate Credential.
In 1997 my career path led me to become a Center Director. I have been employed as Center Director for The Children's Courtyard in Ft. Worth and in Austin, Children's World in Ft. Worth, Kids R Kids and Stepping Stone Schools in Austin and Primrose School in San Antonio. These schools were licensed for 225 to 396 children. I truly love helping families with their child care needs and being a part of the growth and development of these precious children. I recognize the importance in building successful, respectful partnerships with families.
After moving to Uvalde in 2008 I decided to return to my "first love" of offering a quality, child care education program for children in a loving home environment. I opened Matthews Learning Center I on January 19, 2009 with just two children. One by one more children joined my group and by August of 2009 I reached my capacity of 12 children and a waiting list quickly formed. It has been an amazing experience and every child that has walked through my front door has brought so much joy into my heart and my home.
In 2013 I opened my second location, Matthews Learning Center II, a licensed child care center at 714 E. Main St. in Uvalde, Texas. This Center was opened with the 12 children currently at MLC I and the additional 12 children from my waiting list.
In 2015 my husband John and I purchased 3 acres in Rockport Texas. We are very excited to be in our new home and watching Matthews Learning Center III grow.
After almost 35 years of caring for children I continue to let those core values that I learned from my Mother guide me daily.
goals for the future are simple; I plan to spend each day appreciating
the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child.