Dedicated to children and families … beyond the classroom walls By Jillian Chandler
The road to establishing 9B Family Foundations is the culmination of 18 years of experience with children in varying capacities, starting when founder and owner Charli Turner started a daycare center in Great Falls, Montana, with her friend Misty Filipowicz.
“I wanted a job where I could have my own children with me and be able to still have an income,” she recalls. In 2010, Charli would take a job as a house mom at Mountain States Children’s Home in Longmont, Colorado. During her seven years there, 15 girls in crisis would live under her care, receiving an education and a stable home, while working through the aftermath of abuse, neglect and dysfunction within their families.
Charli would go on to work at Northwest Academy in Naples until they closed in 2018.
“At that point, I really wanted to get back to working with younger children—and most of all their families,” she reflects. “I have seen how much heartache can happen in the first 18 years of life, and I want to help families navigate those early years with their children—and hopefully be able to avoid heartache down the road.”
In January of 2022, she opened 9B Family Foundations. Providing a non-denominational, faith-based preschool with the option of full-time childcare, Charli has been blessed to have an amazing team of people to take this journey with her; caring for approximately 35 children each day (19 of those in diapers or who are potty training).
“While rewarding, this job is high stress,” she says. “Most jobs are 8 to 5, but to accommodate a ‘normal’ eight-hour workday for our families, we are open 7am to 6pm.
Our schedule is very structured and consistent, and every single activity is intentional. So even if we are sitting on the floor playing blocks with the babies, we are talking about shapes and colors, or animals and textures. If we are playing with playdough, we are developing muscles and learning to make the shape of our letters and numbers.”
What truly sets 9B Family Foundations apart from other preschools and childcare centers in the area is the family resource side of the business. “We work to help families in our community find the resources they need from housing and finding a counselor to purchasing food, diapers and clothing for their children,” shares Charli. “Most of the time, people in crisis just need help in a moment to get through a rough patch, a new move, or while waiting for that first paycheck after getting a new job.”
9B Family Foundations offers free parenting classes, working alongside and offering solutions for young families. They meet with families privately to create daily schedules to eliminate stress and discipline issues within the home, as well as coach families through developmental milestones to understand how to best parent each child as an individual. They teach parents how to budget and shop efficiently to make their money stretch as far as possible. In addition, 9B Family Foundations works with families in “transition.” This transition could be a divorce or blending of a family to adjusting to a family member who is returning from deployment or about to be deployed.
Charli, who grew up as a military brat, is a graduate of Bonners Ferry High School, and though life took her away from the area for 20 years, she was thankful for the opportunity to move back and build a life in her hometown.
“This was my favorite place that I have ever lived. The community is strong and self-sufficient and at the same time hospitable. The people here look out for each other, and I love how other businesses support each other. For our childcare community, we have had outstanding support from teachers, doctors, clerks and the trades in our community, who have not only entrusted us with their children, but many donate to our Family Resource Center with resources of their own. It is a tightly woven community, and it is a beautiful thing.”
Charli is thankful for the dedication of her staff to make this program the best possible opportunity for their kids and families. “We love being part of this community, and we are looking forward to seeing how 9B Family Foundations grows,” she smiles. “We are looking to expand into different areas as the community grows and has need for our services.”
9B Family Foundations 7142 Second Street Bonners Ferry, Idaho 83805 208.610.6507 9BFamilyFoundations@gmail.com