Signup for our Newsletter!
Women's Business Development Council Logo
A Better Bakery in Bethel

Watch Me Grow Daycare

Meet Nichelle Waddell, Owner
Nichelle Waddell, Owner of Watch Me Grow Daycare
Meet Nichelle Waddell

Owner, Watch Me Grow Daycare

The Backstory

Nichelle Waddell credits her desire to pursue a career in child care to Maria Otto, whose nurturing home-based daycare she attended while growing up in the Bronx. As a teenager, Nichelle began volunteering at a daycare associated with Otto, and later began volunteering with the Red Cross to work with special needs children.

Nichelle’s child care career began with New York City’s Department of Education, where she worked with the Cooke Foundation for Special Education. During this time, she founded her own nonprofit organization, Growth Opportunity Development Inc., to provide underprivileged youth in the tri-state area with services such as tutoring, counseling, assistance with scholarship searches and internships for college, and field trips and outings.

After shifting to a career as a stockbroker for several years, Nichelle returned to her true calling of working with children. She started Watch Me Grow Daycare in 2019, offering full-time and part-time care with a focus on outdoor education. Children take part in activities such as gardening, bird watching, hatching baby chickens, hunting for bird nests, and looking after the daycare’s pet bunny.


How Women's Business Development Council Helped

In early 2020, Nichelle was referred to the WBDC’s Guide to Plan for Success (GPS) class, a comprehensive multi-session course on business planning. She has subsequently attended numerous other classes, covering everything from branding to bookkeeping, and has met with some of WBDC’s Business Advisors. Nichelle also received critical financial assistance during the pandemic from WBDC in the form of two grants from WBDC’s Child Care Business Support Program. One of the grants allowed Nichelle to make essential repairs to her business’s water and heating systems and the other helped her expand the business.

“I doubled my business last year thanks to the help from the WBDC,” says Nichelle. “I would not be able to do these things without the help, teaching and guidance that I have received from WBDC.” In October 2022, Nichelle opened a second Watch Me Grow Daycare location in Norwalk.

Nichelle recommends that entrepreneurs do their homework before pursuing their journey. She said the GPS course, and her work with WBDC Business Advisors were indispensable to her success.


Find Out More About Watch Me Grow Daycare