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Exploring Life & Business with Tamarra Johnson of MPPA Family Childcare Center

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tamarra Johnson.

Hi Tamarra, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
We are a family-owned and operated childcare center with two locations which were started by the visionary Ms. Pam, my mother, in the basement of our home back in 2013. We now own and operate two locations: the Conyers building, and commercial facilities. When my mom first asked me to open a daycare, I was a little reluctant, but I did my research, and the rest is history. We started in our home with no children showing up to the open house to having our first child show up on the opening day! We had grown to over 19 children on the roster within 11 months and expanded to our first commercial property. That building has taken in 35 children at a time, so we work 24/6 leaving Sundays free to worship the Lord. We were open on Monday mornings at 5 and didn’t close until midnight on Saturdays. We maintained that schedule for three years. It was primarily run by myself, my mother, and my husband Bruce.  I called us BB&T. I had a dream that we were going to get a business loan from one of our daycare babies’ family members to expand.  I told my mom, a woman is going to walk in the door with a large checkbook, she’s going to come downstairs and you’re going to need to send her to me for the amount. A woman came and wrote us a check for 20k. We still do business together to this day!
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Some of the major struggles are finding passionate people to replace us. Running a business can be difficult, so we need people that can help us elevate. With three generations running the business, balancing funds, work, and family takes a lot of effort.  Also, taking into consideration how to manage the financial responsibilities. Everyone sees success, but doesn’t understand what happens behind the scenes.  Money coming in also has to come out.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about MPPA Family Childcare Center?
I am one of the Cofounders and Co-Owners of both MPPA Family Childcare Center Inc.  My current position is the CEO and Brand Manager for both locations. My day-to-day operations could range from being the CEO to a teacher, to a bus driver and even the janitor. Since I am trained, there is no job within the centers that I am incapable of doing in full capacity. I specialize in making sure the centers stay in compliance with city, county, state, and federal levels. I also focus on remaining fully funded so that even in crises like COVID, we can keep our doors open.
 We are a black-owned, 3-generation family-run business that operates on faith. Working together for only nine years. We love hard and we are a super passionate group of people who take the industry seriously. We accept that we are not the place for everyone, but the chosen few who are in our care are in the right place and they feel at home.
People often ask how we went from a home childcare center to a commercial childcare center in less than 1 year and all I tell them is that we wrote the vision and made it plain! A lot of people really don’t believe in the power of prayer like they say they do, but my family does, and we walk it daily. We overcame so many obstacles. With the family loss, no location, and no investors, to then opening our first commercial childcare center in the City of Morrow on April 11, 2014, with 36 children. Then three years later in 2017, we opened our second center, which stands at 14,000 sq ft and holds 252 children. Fast forward to 2020, during the pandemic, we moved the first location from Morrow to Jonesboro which now holds 160 children. We make believers out of dreamers by being community helpers and giving back. We have a saying at my church, Living Faith Tabernacle, under the leadership of Dr. Jeremy C. Tuck, that goes “I am assigned to my church and my church is assigned to my community” and we take that to heart.
 
What matters most to you?
My family is what matters to me the most because we are seriously one solid unit. We are a blended family I like to call my “Wendy’s 4 for 4 pack.” I had one child with one man, one child with another. My husband had one child with his ex-wife and then we have one child together. They range in age from 14 to 28 years of age. We all work or have worked in our family business and understand the value and importance of family. My husband of 13 years is my biggest supporter! A year after we decided to open the childcare center, I asked him to quit his job and join us. At first, he was hesitant because he believed in going to work daily, but I finally convinced him that it would be best for our family. He is now one of the best things that have happened to the business. He’s wonderful with the children, we call him “the baby whisperer.”
My husband Bruce and I get married every 5 years.  Our first wedding was in May 2009, the second in May 2014, the third marriage in 2019, and the fourth wedding is planned for May 2024. Our vow to marry one another every five years brings our entire family together because it acts as a family reunion with both sides of our family. Of course, I can’t forget to mention “Thelma and Louise,” also known as Ms. Pam and Aunt Dee. Ms. Pam is my mom, the visionary and backbone behind MPPA Family Childcare Center and Aunt Dee is Bruce’s aunt who doubles up as my mother-in-law since Bruce’s mother passed away.
Love is reserved for people and that’s what matters the most.

Pricing:

  • 185.00 ages 6wks-23 months per week
  • 165.00 age 2 per week
  • 145.00 age 3 per week
  • 135.00 age 4 per week
  • 125.00 ages 5-12 per week

Contact Info:

  • Instagram: @Tamarrapr @Tamarralewisjohnson
  • Facebook: Tamarra Lewis Johnson
  • Youtube: Tamarra Lewis Johnson

Image Credits
NP Photograaphy LLC @npercypics (Instagram)

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