Roots and Wings was founded in 1977 in Woodland Hills, California by Sherri (Swanson) Laboon, a young professional mother of two little girls, in response to the critical lack of full day childcare in existence at that time. Women were entering the workforce in numbers not seen since the WWII, and it was difficult to find quality places to leave children while women worked. Our business was successful and relocated to Thousand Oaks in 1984 in the capacity of a licensed home-based childcare center.
In 1989 Roots and Wings opened a second location at Calle Tulipan, and enrollment expanded from 14 students to 60. Demand for childcare continued to grow steadily as businesses were quickly discovering Thousand Oaks as a sought after location. When Amgen located here, pressure for quality childcare reached a critical point. In response, The City of Thousand Oaks conducted a needs assessment of available services for families and then decided to pursue funding a childcare facility of its own.
Partnership with the City of Thousand Oaks
In 1995 Roots and Wings was selected as the most capable operator in the region, setting it apart from the dozens of local schools and major childcare corporations that had also applied! The City of Thousand Oaks desired a local operator with the knowledge, expertise, outstanding track record and strong connections to families and community. Roots and Wings stood out above the rest with our low staff to child ratios, good employment benefits for teachers and outstanding quality programs for young children. The city built a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art facility with a capacity for 160 additional children. Both Roots and Wings facilities were accredited through NAEYC (Association for Education of Young Children).
Serving Those in Need in Our Community
Over the course of the next 15 years, Roots and Wings secured hundreds of thousands of dollars of competitive funding from the State of California, Child Development Division to support low-income preschool students in our community. At the time there were no comparable services funded by the state in Thousand Oaks. Over 2000 children of at risk and low-income families received a 2-year preschool program between 1996-2009. The legacy funding Roots and Wings obtained continues to this day through the preschool services the city provides through the Conejo Valley School District. Roots and Wings is proud to have secured and injected $6 million of preschool education into our community! Studies have shown that high quality childcare for at-risk populations brings a return on investment of between $4-7 dollars per dollar spent, in reduced cost for education, remediation, social services and incarceration. What a difference we made!
Our Unique Program Today
Today, Roots and Wings has returned to its original site, an intimate environment where nurturing care, stimulating educational activities and highly qualified staff come together. We continue to provide the same high level of service over 5000 children and their families have come to trust for 35 years in Thousand Oaks.