- Your News
By IAN SKOTTE
“Born from a special little boy.”
That’s the mantra of a new childcare development center catering to special needs children.
Rowan “Boat” Fowler suffered a prenatal brain hemorrhage that left him disabled with cerebral palsy. For Boat’s parents, raising him would be a challenge. He needs special attention because of his condition. But in Tullahoma, no facility existed.
That’s why they helped start Dream Boat Child Care and Development Center – to help families like their own.
A privately owned facility, Dream Boat opened after funding was cut by the state of Tennessee for similar daycares, according to co-owner Missie Struemph.
“There’s such a need and there are no other resources available,” Struemph said. “We’re trying to fill that need.”
Dream Boat also acts as a daycare center for children who don’t suffer from a developmental delay, which helps pay for the facility.
According to their mission statement, Dream Boat provides early childhood education services for children ages 18 months to 5 years of age.
“We will serve children of all developmental levels from special needs to gifted,” Struemph said.
Three trained nurses, each of whom has a personal story involving a special needs child, run Dream Boat.
“We believe that all children should have a chance for a high-quality early childhood education,” Struemph said. “Parental income and circumstances alone shouldn’t determine how well a child does in life.”
Dream Boat operates as a for-profit but with a non-profit philosophy.
Struemph and her staff offer a range of group learning activities from art and outdoor recreation to math, science, reading and language.
Programs include activities concentrating on each child’s individual needs and may include additional gross motor/fine motor skill practice, language and communication development, according to Struemph.
Meals and snacks are also available.
Priority for Dream Boat is given to Special Pre-K students attending area schools. Prices range from $90-$105 a week.
For more information you can call 455-8886 or 639-2274.
The Dream Boat Child Care and Development Center is located at 1031 N. Washington St. in Tullahoma.