Child care service offered to parents while they shop

By Joe Bennett

December 16, 2012 Updated Dec 17, 2012 at 11:16 AM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill -- Tammie Mance thanks her own daughters Kaylee and Mya for helping with her business, Auntie Tammie's.

They were even the original inspiration for the store, except for the name.

That came from Tammie's nieces and nephews.

"They would get impatient," Tammie said of her daughters when they were younger. "They would want something to eat, they just didn't want to shop, so I figured I'm not the only parent who has this issue."

Parents shopping at the Eastland Mall in Bloomington can drop off their children and check in on them just by looking over the counter.

Parents fill out a form to let employees know if a child has any allergic reactions or medical conditions and even the last time the child had a snack.

During pick-up, parents receive a similar form.

Tammie said, "We write down what time the diaper was changed or went to the bathroom, and we also let the parents know how their behavior was."

Tammie knows child behavior. She has taught and worked in daycare for 15 years.

That experience has prepared her to watch the children of others like Barb Jacobson, a first time customer.

"I have so much to do," said Jacobson. "And I have to run between stores, and I have to pick up a lot of things, so it would be really boring for them to come along with me, and it makes it a lot easier to drop them off here with Tammie."

Tammie says business has picked up after the first couple of weeks.

In that time, she found herself letting mall-shoppers know that this is not a daycare center requiring long-term commitment.

"No, this is hourly child care," said Tammie. "You can just drop them in, pay for one to three hours, and then pick them up."

Often times the children ask if they can play a little longer before they leave, but they shouldn't worry.

Tammie plans to be open all year, giving families plenty of time to come back and shop, or play, some more.

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