Interview with Fabiola Santos-Gaerlan of Honeydew Drop Childcare Services

Honeydew Drop Childcare Services in Brooklyn, New York among other locations is directed by Fabiola Santos-Gaerlan. Honeydew Drop has been serving the Brooklyn community since 1999 by providing positive environments for children through child-centered curriculum. According to Fabiola, "We expose [the children] to activities that will not only teach their minds, but also their hearts, their bodies and their learning spirit." So this week, we're back with another article shining the spotlight on Honeydew Drop to get a more in-depth look at how Honeydew develops their children to go into the world with developed attitudes -- especially in the concrete jungle that is New York.

In Fabiola's opinion,  what separates Honeydew from other day cares in the big city is the constant effort they put in to molding children's personalities to equip them for life, yet being able to enjoy their childhood; "...the emphasis of kindness, emotional support and understanding of the children as well as the teamwork and training that the teachers consistently receive trickles down to the daily atmosphere and the personal exchanges that the staff have with each other and with the children and their families." She also stated early on in the interview that she believe those traits are one of the most important elements of early childhood."The ability for self-calming, kindness to friends and cooperation with their teachers will provide valuable life-long skills. We also support their families by creating a partnership where there is an open line of communication and parenting support when they need it." We at Bow-Tiger really admire and agree with Fabiola & Honeydew Drop's philosophy, that in order to get a child properly prepped to go into different stages in life and eventually enter into society, they must be well versed in a social & community-based environment -- which Honeydew accomplishes by surrounding the children with constant community-style support & education from both their teachers & the children's parents.

The one moment that stands out to Fabiola as her proudest moment in educating was seeing Honeydew grow so fast to the point that she doesn't directly educate the children anymore! She tells us, "Instead I am educating my staff.  And my proudest moments are always when they decide to go to school to make a career out of working at Honeydew. And also when a teacher makes a presentation in our staff development – and their colleagues learn from their presentation." It must indeed be humbling to see Honeydew grow into what it is now; but as we all know, the road to success is almost never a short and smooth journey... So we asked Fabiola about her roots and how it all started -- "I was a television producer for 15 years and towards the end, I produced a program about children all over the country – being involved in activities that they love – may it be catching craw fish in New Orleans or Irish dancing in upstate NY, etc. When that program became all about famous children and celebrity children, I left and decided that I want to work with children directly. I wanted to design their environment, teach them a curriculum that highlighted their uniqueness and be surround them with kind and loving teachers. So I opened one on the first floor of our house in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I thought that that would be the safest way to open a business - in my house and if it didn’t work out, close it up and go back to TV. It slowly became a success and so we are still here and growing."

From TV production all the way to owning and directing a daycare? It may seem a little far fetched, right? Except for the fact that both of her jobs involved children, and she clearly had a passion for them. Which is why we don't doubt the solid growth and success of Honeydew Drop for a single moment. They've become so big that Fabiola's goal for this year is to unify how all of Honeydew's locations operate --"My goal for this year is to set clear and consistent operating systems and to firmly set them in place at all our locations." But even with Honeydew having different locations, Fabiola still considers them a small business at heart with all of its integrity and values in tact, same as when they first began. In her words; "What I want people to know is that we are a local small business, and not a corporation or a chain.  We are in the business to take care of the children and to help the families and not to make as much profit as we can.  The children are our priority so we might not have the 'shiniest' classrooms, but we have happy learning children."

 If you would like more information about Honeydew Drop Childcare Services and all their locations, visit their website at , visit their blog, call them at (718) 788-9633 or email them at [email protected].


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