Krissy Dvorak was a mother and a university student when she first had the idea for a walk-in childcare model. Years later, she opened Hour Kids Walk-In Childcare, a daycare center offering childcare on a walk-in basis with availability by the hour.
Krissy Dvorak was juggling motherhood and full-time student status at a university when the idea for Hour Kids Walk-In Childcare was born. Krissy herself was a mother, and had spent her career working in childcare centers. She saw first-hand the need for flexible, reliable childcare in the Twin Cities. A center that took kids on a walk-in basis and had availability by the hour was the solution she envisioned.
Krissy saw the need, but wasn’t sure she was ready to open up her own center. While voicing her self-doubt one day in class, another woman said to her “Well, why can’t you?” That woman was Angel Rogers, a WomenVenture client who opened a daycare center, Angel’s Learning Center, when she was just 24 years old. Angel told Krissy about her experience at WomenVenture and Krissy began to see how owning her own childcare center was an achievable goal.
A couple years later, Krissy decided it was the right time to start the business she’d been dreaming about. She enrolled in WomenVenture’s Guided Business Plan course (rebranded Small Business Essentials in 2018) and got to work. During the class she got in touch with a real estate agent and starting looking for space for her business. For months she searched for the right location, and in December 2017 she received a loan from WomenVenture and purchased the Hour Kids Walk-In location in Eagan, MN.
Now in its second year of business, Krissy’s center has taken off. Hour Kids Walk-In Childcare is made up of about half regular clientele whose kids come in daily for care, and the rest of the spaces are held for walk-in clients. Hour Kids can take children the same day parents sign up, or parents can schedule out time for their kids to be there a day or two ahead of time if they know they’ll need childcare. Hour Kids is especially popular during busy times elsewhere in the metro – State Fair week and snow days being two examples.
“Parents are so relieved when they come to us. I’ve been in that situation, so I know what it feels like to really need childcare and not have it. It feels good to relieve the stress that I know these parents are feeling,” says Krissy. “I’ve got clients coming in from all over the metro because Hour Kids is the only place offering this service.”
Krissy is proud to be helping parents in situations where she once was. She has trademarked the phrase ‘walk-in childcare’ and is planning to expand her business model to offer after-school programming in the future.