My name is Sara Chatterjea and I reside in Fox Lake, IL with my husband and three children. I am an active, educated, mother and wife and opened my own home day care in October 2007. Taking care of children is my life, literally! As a little girl, all I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a mom. I started working with children at about the age of 12 by babysitting for local families and continued that while attending college in Minnesota. I graduated from Winona State University in 1998. After graduation, I worked in the juvenile justice field in Kenosha, WI; the foster care field in Racine, WI; and then a residential treatment center located in Lake Villa, IL for eight years. In 2001, I decided to attend graduate school to pursue a Masters in Teaching. In the course of completing that degree, I got married and had two children. I finally graduated with my Masters of Arts in Teaching from National-Louis University in March 2006.
In 2007, I felt a burdening need to do something different with my life. I was working with troubled youth at the residential treatment center and really wanted to get into teaching. However, I had two very young children at the time (ages 1 and 3) and wasn’t sure how starting a new job at that point in my life would work. Many times in the past I had contemplated starting my own home day care but felt that I needed to become a parent first and experience raising my own children before attempting to help raise other peoples’ children! I was driving to work one day in the spring of 2007, behind a mobile dog grooming truck… and I thought “that person obviously loves animals and started their own business, doing something they love,” and then it hit me…I would do something I love and start my own home day care business to take care of and teach children! The second the idea hit me, it just felt right. And the rest is history!
I have personal experience with home day care. In 2004, after the birth of our first daughter, my husband and I were faced with the daunting task of finding a day care provider that could provide her with as much love, security, and patience as she would receive in our home. I knew off the bat that I did not want to enroll her in a child care center, and I felt that home day care was the best option for us. After a long process of narrowing down prospects, we decided on one provider, only to be faced with the task once again eight months later when our provider informed us that she would be moving to another state. After numerous interviews, we located another provider who came to be an important part of our family as our first, and ultimately second, daughters were cared for in a loving way while my husband and I worked. Our family has learned first-hand how invaluable a loving caregiver with a safe, clean, and comfortable home can be for the child and parent. I am a young mother with young children and I know exactly what it is like to have to leave your children in the care of someone else. I have felt those strings pull at my heart every time I had to drop my children off at day care. I have sat in many a business meeting during the day wondering what my children were doing at that very moment. Because of this, every day I strive to make the child care experience a great one for the child and parent.
I have truly enjoyed owning my own home day care. I feel completely honored to be a part of the children’s lives that I care for. I love everything about it. I love giving my day care children the same love, teaching, and life experiences that I give my own children. I love being my own boss and managing, operating, and growing my own business. I love working with parents—listening to them, talking with them, and helping them raise their children. I love the special bond I get to create with each of my day care children, and that during the day when they need comfort, a hug, a lap to sit on, or someone to show their beautiful painting to….they come to me. I love that the children enjoy coming to my home in the morning, and, although it’s not always convenient, some days they never want to leave! I even love the challenging days because every day is a new learning experience for me. I love that I am not just babysitting children…I am permanently influencing a child’s life forever through love and quality child care programming every hour of every day that they are in my care. I feel this is my mark on the world, one little child at a time.
Education & Credentials:
- Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, & Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (Winona State University, 1998)
- Master of Arts in Teaching (National-Louis University, 2006)
- Member of the Lake County Home Day Care Network (LCHDCN)
- Member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
- Member of the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)
- Member of the American Montessori Society (AMS)
- Member of the YWCA Child Care Resource & Referral program (CCR&R)
- Participant of USDA Child Care Food Program. Learn more about this program here.