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                           Just Playing

When I am building in the block room, please don’t say I’m “just playing”. For you see, I’m learning  as I play, about balance and shapes. Who knows, I may be an architect someday.

When I’m getting all dressed up, setting the table, caring for the babies, don’t get the idea I’m “just playing”. For, you see, I’m learning as I play; I may be a mother or a father someday.

When you see me up to my elbows in paint or standing at an easel, please don’t let me hear you say, “He is just playing”.  For, you see, I’m learning as I play. I’m expressing myself and being creative.  I may be an artist or an inventor someday.

When you see me sitting in a chair “reading” to an imaginary audience, please don’t laugh and think I’m “just playing”. For, you see, I’m learning as I play. I may be a teacher someday.

When you see me combing the bushes for bugs, or packing my pockets with choice things I find, don’t pass it off as “just play”. For you see, I’m learning as I play. I may be a scientist someday.

When you see me engrossed in a puzzle or some “plaything”, please don’t feel the time is wasted in “play”. For, you see, I’m learning to solve problems and concentrate. I may be in business someday.

When you see me cooking ​or tasting foods, please don’t think that because I enjoy it, it's “just play”. I’m learning to follow direction and see differences. I may be a cook someday.

When you see me learning to skip, hop, run and move my body, please don’t say I’m “just playing”. For, you see, I’m learning as I play. I’m learning how my body works. I may be a doctor, nurse or athlete someday.

When you ask me what I’ve done at school today, and I say, “I just played”, please don’t misunderstand me. For you see, I’m learning to enjoy and be successful in my work. I’m preparing for tomorrow. Today, I am a child and my work is play.
~author unknown~​

Hello. My name is Elyse Mims. I am a single, empty nester mom & Nana. I married outside of Nashville, TN in 1981 and had my first child in Knoxville, Thanksgiving that same year... I have been caring for children professionally since December, 2000; Many of those years were spent homeschooling my children while I was working. 

I have three wonderful children, a stepson and several grandchildren. My youngest child, Shannon (26) is serving in the Navy; she is currently stationed in GA. Tony, (my 31.5 yr old stepson), lives in the Johnson City area.

My older two, Heather, 33 & Scott, 36.5, along with 4 grand babies (and most of my siblings) live in FL, MD & WV. My promise to you, is to nurture your child as if he or she was my very own.  Please don't expect my home or your child to be perfectly clean at pickup time.  We do lots of activities and will do our best to maintain cleanliness and order, but fun and the well being of the children will always take precedence over cleaning (I can tidy up afterwards).

Before starting my career in childcare I worked in the legal field for almost 15 years in the Washington DC and Baltimore areas... positions included being a court runner, a Private Process Server (I served child support papers and other court documents) and was an Advocate for abused & neglected children in the Baltimore courts for 5 years. In the past 8 years I have worked with moms in women's shelters and in the last 3.5 years, Foster families while they put families back together.  

I have had state & federal background checks, along with physicals/TB testing done in every state I have ever done childcare in; I am not a fully licensed provider anymore and I don't wish to be; I scaled my numbers back 3 years ago and went to legally license exempt status in order to give more personal attention to fewer children. Here in TN, I am limited to 4 children anytime being legally licensed exempt. 

Over the last 18+ years I have been certified (and re-certified in some cases) in the following: Infant Safety, Sanitation for Disease Prevention, Abuse and Neglect, Discipline in Child Care, Adult & Infant CPR/FIRST AID/AED, Child Growth and Development, Music & Movement and have 14 years of Postpartum doula training and experience ( thru 3 different disciplines).