School History

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


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).

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 the return on the dollar spent for high

quality childcare for at-risk populations brings a return on investment of between

$4 and $7 spent in reduced cost for education, remediation, social services and

incarceration. What a difference we made!

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 over 30 years in Thousand Oaks.

January 2018
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