The daycare business can be rewarding in so many ways. By providing a much-needed service to the community, many entrepreneurs can also gain financially. But according to Robin Mayweather, owner of, financial gain should not be the motivating factor to enter the childcare business. You must be passionate about childcare and providing a quality environment for learning.
Carlee McCullough: Tell me about yourself?
Robin Mayweather: My name is Robin Mayweather. I am a native Memphian who graduated from Hamilton High School. After high school, I attended and graduated from Florida A&M University. I have one daughter. I am a member of Greater Middle Baptist Church, where I serve in several capacities. I am a member of the Memphis Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. I am the owner/operator of Red Robin's Academy.
CM: What inspired you to go into the childcare business?
RM: While working on a minor in elementary education, I worked in a childcare center. I realized I had a natural gift working with young children. I valued the idea of laying a foundation for learning in a child's life.
Upon graduating from college, I moved back to Memphis and began working as an assistant director of my church center, Hooks Dimmick Childcare. After becoming the director of Hooks Dimmick Childcare-Euclid Site, I learned the center was scheduled to close. At that time, I started to plan for my future, Red Robin's Academy.
I had several meetings with Rev. Benjamin L. Hooks to discuss the possible donation of the equipment and furniture to me. He agreed to donate all of the furniture to me and I found a location nestled in the heart of the Cooper Young District. At that very moment, the legacy of one location ended and a new legacy began with Red Robin's Academy!
CM: How long has the center been in business?
RM: I have been in business for 10 years and looking forward to many more years of serving my community.
CM: What are your hours?
RM: The hours of operation are: 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday thru Friday. Pre-K hours are from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday thru Friday.
CM: How flexible are you with pickup and drop-off times?
RM: Children ages 6 weeks to 3 years old have more flexible drop-off times than do Pre-K students. All children must be picked-up from the center no later than 6 p.m.
CM: What makes your childcare center different or unique from other centers?
RM: I am located in the heart of Cooper Young and our families represent many different cultures. We encourage learning through experiences and programs. We are an early childhood center with two Shelby County Schools Pre K programs.
CM: Do you encourage visits from parents?
RM: Yes, before enrolling all parents must tour the center. Tours are offered anytime between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday thru Friday.
CM: Are the kids grouped by age or are the ages mixed?
RM: Each classroom has a mixed-age grouping.
CM: What are the staff's credentials and training?
RM: All staff members are required to maintain professional development plan. The staff has a mixture of credentials; degrees, CDA and TECTA certificates.
CM: Does the staff have emergency training in first and/or CPR?
RM: Yes, all staff members are CPR/First Aide certified.
CM: Do you provide breakfast, lunch, and/or snack?
RM: Yes, we serve breakfast, lunch and snack.
CM: What advice can you offer those interested in entering into the childcare business?
RM: Go into this business because you are sincere about providing quality care for young children, not for financial reasons.
CM: What is the most challenging part of the business?
RM: Financial challenges and the rapid growth of big industries such as Head Start.
CM: What is the most rewarding part of the business?
RM: Being able to provide a safe and nurturing place for young children to come and learn is an awesome feeling. Helping families and giving back to my community. I love to see a smile on a child's face and to receive a big hug from a child, when a school age student is eager to show his/her report card and in the same manner, when I am able to be a support system for the staff.