BY HAILEY MINTON
In 1988, Shauna Kendell was a young mother and pregnant with her third child. Her mother, who was in her late forties, was running the family business, when she suffered a stroke that kept her hospitalized for four months.
Immediately, Shauna began to operate and manage their family’s childcare business, Children’s Classic Child Care. “I had to take the reins and go,” she explained.
Her husband was an absolute supporter, and together, they raised their six children and operated a company. Today, they also love on their 15 grandchildren. Shauna’s sisters also played a pivotal role when they forsook their previous careers to help run the business. Justina Longman has been with them for 37 years, and she is the director of the South Ogden site. Janna Durbano has been with them for 30 years and takes care of their 64 employees through HR.
When Shauna initially took charge of the business, she wanted to make changes in the way they valued their employees and families they served. “I wanted to nurture my employees and the parents of the families the way I nurtured my children.” “We are Family” is one of the core values she incorporated at Children’s Classic. You can tell management and staff live it because of the longevity of the relationships with the staff, parents, and children. Some staff have worked there 30 years, and some families are on their third generation of children who go through Children’s Classic’s care! “Our staff is the heart of our business,” said Shauna.
Childcare has changed during her lifetime. It has gone from babysitting to an educational experience. Infants and toddlers are learning through sensory and sight language literacy. Preschool programs incorporate engineering, science, and phonics. Their private kindergarten programs are full-day, phonics based, incorporate STEM, and meet the core standards. They also have summer programs for school-aged children.
Children’s classic is the oldest childcare business in the Ogden area, and being in business for 50 plus years is a great accomplishment. Shauna is an endurance runner, and she ran 50 marathons by her 50th birthday. She explained whether it’s running one marathon, multiple marathons, or running a business, it’s hard, but you push through and learn from each event and each situation. “If you work hard and make goals you will achieve.”