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Metro East SBDC at SIUE helps daycare business expand

siuedaycareLaDonna Tunstall, owner of Rainbow Station Preschool & Daycare, sought the Illinois Metro East SBDC’s expertise in preparing for an expansion of her operation at a much larger site.

Good things began to grow at Rainbow Station Preschool & Daycare in Belleville when it tapped into the complimentary expertise available at the Illinois Metro East Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

In August 2016, owner LaDonna Tunstall approached the SBDC for expertise in how to expand her business and to locate a larger space. She met one-on-one for a confidential, no-cost business counseling session with SBDC Interim Director Jo Ann DiMaggio May and former SBDC Director Patrick McKeehan, who assisted her in creating a budget to cover the expansion and relocation.

They worked steadily toward Tunstall’s goal of securing a larger location on the east end of Belleville, and moving her 17-year-old in-home preschool and daycare to a building that once housed a childcare organization.

“Patrick and Jo Ann helped create my budget for this transition,” Tunstall said. “They also guided me in how to provide all the information that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services required. The SBDC also worked to help locate a site that had previously been used for a similar operation, so that has been ideal.”

The new Rainbow Station Preschool & Daycare facility spans more than 4,000 square feet and is located at 2511 Eastview Drive in Belleville. Tunstall said the numbers of children enrolled in her school and daycare grew to the point where her previous space no longer sufficed.

“I’m grateful to Jo Ann, to Patrick and to the SBDC for helping put my revised, expanded business plan into place,” Tunstall said. “Now, we have plenty of room to continue growing, and that is really exciting.”

May said working with Tunstall has been gratifying. “LaDonna has worked hard to make the expansion happen. She is truly dedicated to her children and their education. I can’t wait to see all the great things Rainbow Station Preschool & Daycare will achieve.”

For more information about Rainbow Station Preschool & Daycare, see the company’s website or call Tunstall at (618) 744-7477.

To learn how the SBDC can help small business, contact the Metro East SBDC at (618) 650-2929 or

— From the Illinois Business Journal via SIUE news services

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