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Class of Their Own

When it came to finding a child-care center for their daughter, this couple took matters into their own hands.

This story appears in the November 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Debra Tynan and Robert Tagliani waited 13 years to have a child, so when Natasha was born, the , who had careers in IT, wanted to be sure their daughter would be in good hands. The child-care options in their community didn't satisfy the parents. "I didn't see anybody as attentive as I would want them to be for my child," says Tynan. She and Tagliani figured they could do better and decided to open their own child-care center.

After researching several franchises, they chose the Primrose School Co. They were so impressed by its facilities, its reputation and its program (which combines social, emotional, physical and intellectual development) that they sold their stock options to their .

Initially, the couple faced bureaucratic roadblocks to get the school approved- was a year and a half before Natasha could walk into her parents' school. But the turned out to be a success. Primrose School of Parker, which opened in Parker, , in February 1999, broke Primrose franchise records by reaching $1 million in revenues in its first 11 months of business. In February 2002, the couple opened their , Primrose School of Cherry Creek Center in Centennial, Colorado.

The couple attributes their success to the fact that they work well together. "[Robert] concentrates on and accounting, and I focus on running operations," says Tynan. Now she and Tagliani, both 43, expect $1.7 million in 2003 sales for the Parker location and $1 million for the Cherry Creek Center.

But the financial rewards can hardly eclipse the pride they have in Natasha, now in the first grade and enjoying a new school. The transition was no problem for her. "She went away feeling self-confident," says Tynan. "This is the best thing we have ever done for her."

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