Bright Beginnings Preschool is celebrating its one year anniversary this month. Located at 1955 E Oakland Park Blvd in Oakland Park, the pre-school first opened its doors in July 2019. Stephanie and her husband Jonathan Manning own and operate the pre-school together. They both believe that that the highest level of education starts right at the beginning, hence the name Bright Beginnings.
Co-owner Stephanie Manning was born in Costa Rica and at the age of 13, she moved to Vienna, Austria, where she spent most of her young adult life. This international experience highlighted the importance of education and how preschool is the foundation to every child’s development.
“Once I got married and moved to Florida, my husband and I started looking into opening our own preschool.” It’s always been their dream to own their own business. Both have roots in education systems and childhood development. “My husband works with a non-profit that helps students in public middle schools and high schools and after finishing my masters I always had a heart for innovation and early childhood education,” says Stephanie.
Stephanie and her husband attended many City and community events of Oakland Park. And here is where they witnessed the close knit community of our neighborhood – which in large part is what led them to open their business in Oakland Park. Stephanie recounts, “We decided to start our business in Oakland Park because of the family community that runs throughout the city. When attending city events, dining out we always were so impressed with the deep-rooted family structure and community that was here. We wanted to establish our business in a community where the people around it cared and poured into their community.”
And speaking of community involvement, Bright Beginnings partners up with different businesses across Oakland Park to help educate and teach the students about a variety of topics. Some include Oakland Park Fire Department, who came to talk to the children about being a firefighter. Others included Urban Farming Institute to start teaching the students about gardening, etc., and Central Bark, who came with trained dogs to teach the kids about how to pet dogs properly and pet safety, such as bite prevention.
Bright Beginnings offers child care services for ages of infant to 5 years old (VPK). But that’s not all, aside from child care services, Bright Beginnings also has a variety of programs incorporated throughout the year like ballet and karate.
Our school believes that each child learns in different ways but by working together with the family and the teachers, together we can help accelerate the student in the early learning stages.
The school has many success stories. From helping new parents with their child’s development or assisting international students learn the English language, these families are thankful for the care and attention Bright Beginnings staff has given to their family and continue to refer other families in the community.
Stephanie likes to think of her families as the Bright Beginnings Community, and is thrilled to see them happy and satisfied with Bright Beginnings. “It has been such a pleasure getting to serve this community. We found after six months of opening we were already at capacity and having to request for more room to expand. We are so thrilled to be here and excited to see what the future may hold this next year as we expand. We believe we can make a true impact in our community and in our field and be a leader for innovation for the early childhood field.”
Currently, the school has 8 teachers on staff and of course their mascot, a Frenchie, named called Blue, which all the kids love to say hi to him in the morning. With the expansion of the school they expect to also grow their staff, Stephanie tells us “We absolutely love living and having a business in Oakland Park.”
Maria Scudella-Beltran was born and raised in Bergen County, New Jersey, right outside of New York City. She moved to South Florida in 2004 and graduated from Florida International University with a bachelors’ degree in Marketing and Communications.
In 2010, she purchased her first home in the North Andrews Gardens area in Oakland Park. After several years of working in the retail industry, Maria took on a part-time internship at a marketing agency and continued her education through Walden University where she earned her Master’s degree in Marketing and Communications.
Currently, she works in Marketing and during her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and traveling.