If you’re like a lot of parents with school age children, you’ve probably spent a lot of time in 2020 juggling your career with taking care of your kids, who were off school, and then helping them with online school. Perhaps it’s given you a better appreciation for what educators and people who otherwise wrangle children, go through every day. On this edition of Out to Lunch Baton Rouge, Stephanie talks with two local entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses taking care of our kids and teaching them valuable creative skills.

Tessa Holloway from Kidz Carousel

Tessa Holloway from Kidz Carousel

Tessa Holloway is owner of Kidz Karousel, a Baton Rouge-based chain of childcare centers with five locations along the I-10-/I-12 corridor, and two others in the planning stages.

Tessa founded the business with her husband, Derek Holloway, in 2006, opening their first location in Port Allen. In the years since, they have expanded throughout the Capital Region and into Mandeville, where they provide full-time child care services and educational programs for children ranging in age from 6 weeks to 5 years old.

Kidz Karousel also provides before-school and after-school care services for kids aged 6 to 12, as well as holiday care and mom’s day out programs. And now with the uncertainty about school and the days on/days off schedule many schools have implemented, Kidz Karousel is proving to be an invaluable resource for parents who are trying to figure out how to hold down a job and take care of their kids in the middle of a pandemic.

Grace Notes music school's Joy Keown Bedillion

Grace Notes music school’s Joy Keown Bedillion

Joy Keown Bedillion is Co-Owner and Director of Grace Notes School of Music, a music school that teaches strings, piano and music composition to students from throughout Baton Rouge. Joy is a professional cellist who plays with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. She came to Baton Rouge in the mid-2000s to get her MFA in music from LSU, and never left. Initially, Joy started teaching cello lessons at Grace Notes to earn a little extra money at the then recently-opened school, in 2007. When Grace Notes’ founder relocated out of state a couple of years later, Joy bought the business and has since grown it into a multi-instrument music school with a faculty of 13 teachers and classes and camps year-round.

Photos by Jill Lafleur. 

Here’s a conversation with another Baton Rouge music educator, Jacques Hopkins, who can teach you to play piano in 21 days.

And here’s a glimpse into the mindset of educators and economics at the outset of the pandemic.