Many things come together to make up a person’s character. For Margie Amedei Born, some of the main puzzle pieces are her creativity, reliability and tendency to be a kid at heart.
Margie first got into the daycare business working as an in-home caregiver out of a close friend’s home in 1983. Five years later she decided to open her own home daycare business in her hometown of North Judson called Country Kids.
“My daycare provides parents with a safe and secure place to drop their children off, which isn’t always the easiest to find,” Born said.
Born started with a license to have only 12 kids, but she began gaining interest from parents through word of mouth, recommendations and great reviews. She then upped her license to care for 16 kids at Country Kids.
Born oversees children from infants to age 5, just before they leave for kindergarten. Her niece, Shannon Paulson, began helping her at Country Kids about 10 years ago. Paulson proved to be the perfect fit, and Born says she can’t imagine running the daycare without her.
Margie has four kids and all of them have kids of their own, which makes for a grand total of 10 grandkids. Her family is spread across Indiana with the exception of one of her sons, who lives just across the yard from her. Although everyone’s lives are busy, she tries to see her out-of-town grandkids about once a month.
When Margie isn’t working, you can find her busily creating scrapbooks for many her former daycare kids. She saves all of the pictures taken of them during their time at Country Kids and hand makes a personalized scrapbook that she gifts to them when they graduate high school. Staying in touch with the kids she has previously taken care of is extremely important to Born.
“Facebook helps a lot with keeping in touch with everyone. Shannon and I also try to go watch them partake in as many sporting events as we can. It almost feels as though I’m watching my own grandkids.”
With most of her sons, daughters and grandkids living far away, Born says the bond she shares with the kids who come to her daycare fill the extra space in her heart.
“I love both my family and my kids at the daycare the same, but it’s a different feeling and bond that I share with the kids who grew up in daycare with me,” she said.
Born has even watched over two generations of families in the past, and these have blossomed into some of her strongest relationships.
“Every so often you get that one particular special connection out of so many, and that’s really something. I have one little girl who still texts me every year on my birthday. The bond that is created between me and the kids who come to my daycare is irreplaceable.”
Born is thinking about retiring soon but is hesitant.
“I feel guilty almost for thinking of retiring. Where will these parents go? There aren’t many places in the county for daytime care. I’m still hanging in there and I definitely have a few more years in me,” she said.
When asked about a wish she’d like granted, Born said would wish for a cure for cancer. The disease has closely affected her; she lost her mother to cancer three years ago, and a close friend who was captain of her bowling team 20 years ago.
“My mother’s loss was sudden. It’s always in the back of my mind, and I wish I could help anyone affected by this disease. I’ve had kids in daycare who have lost a parent in some way at such a young age, and it makes me feel very thankful that I still have my father around,” Born said.
Born’s influence and care have impacted many children’s lives and her services are greatly appreciated in her community.