Lily Nguyen, the owner and director of Magic Land Child Care and Learning Center, speaks both Vietnamese and English and is filling a need for child care in the Dallas area. When you visit her daycare center in Garland, it’s hard to believe it has only been open six years. By all accounts, the center is making a difference in children’s lives and working hard to meet Child Care Licensing (CCL) standards and keep children safe.
Lily decided to open a daycare center because her own children were scared of English-only centers. She remembers them saying, “no, no…” when asked if they wanted to go back. They were uncomfortable in English-only settings and found it hard to adjust and interact with the other children. After her children’s experience, Lily saw the need for a daycare center that helps children who speak Vietnamese learn how to transition to English-speaking schools.
The environment at the Magic Land Child Care and Learning Center is built to strengthen children’s confidence and their English skills. Lily says that by the time they go to school they have enough confidence to interact with English-speaking children and they adjust more easily.
Thuy Nguyen, a CCL licensing inspector who also speaks Vietnamese and English, says Lilly and her staff are “doing all of the right things” now. But, Lilly admits that she had a “bumpy” start and it took a while to understand the Texas Child Care Licensing (CCL) standards. Starting a daycare was a new career for Lilly and meeting the standards was difficult. She says, “Honestly, it was very crazy.”
Lilly and the staff at Magic Land have come a long way in six years. One of Lilly’s teachers used to work at a daycare center in Vietnam, where standards and regulations were very different. Lilly says that “40 to 50 children per class in a daycare in Vietnam is not uncommon.”
Lilly and two other women at the center are currently taking Child Development Associate (CDA) classes to obtain CDA credentials – credentials based on a core set of child-care competency standards. Other workers at the center plan to take the classes, too.
Lilly is very grateful for all of the training CCL gave her to help her understand Texas regulations and standards. This has helped her ensure that Magic Land continues to be a great place for children to learn, become confident, and get ready for whatever’s next.