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Day care, preschool planned for Fox River Grove

Published: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 3:24 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 11:36 p.m. CDT

FOX RIVER GROVE – The former Bella Vista Montessori School location is set to become a new child care and preschool.

Turtle Express Child Care and Preschool is looking to open at 750 Northwest Highway. Donna Penney, owner of the child care, leased the location in April.

She expects to open by Sept. 16 after receiving a permit from the Department of Child and Family Services.

Before opening, Turtle Express also needs a special-use permit from the village. The Montessori school, which closed May 31, also had a special-use permit from the village when it operated.

The Zoning Board of Appeals recommended approval of a special-use permit for Turtle Express, and the Village Board is scheduled to review the request at its meeting Sept. 5.

Penney said she plans to add a playground with mulch. The rest of the building will remain the same.

Penney has been in child care for 15 years and owns the 3,900-square-foot Turtle Express in Wauconda. The business will be for children 6 weeks to 12 years old, Penney said.

Over the years, Penney, of Spring Grove, wanted to open a new location and bought pieces of equipment from other day cares and put them into storage.

“I’ve always wanted a second center,” Penney said. “I love kids. It’s something I like to do.”

As Penney researched possible locations and was told about the 7,200-square-foot spot in Fox River Grove, she saw there wasn’t a child care in the village. The closest ones are in Cary and Barrington.

“I thought I’d try it and see what happens,” Penney said.

Penney expects to be able to have up to 74 children at the location, but some children would be there only two or three days a week. The location will have eight to 10 employees, Penney said.

She said the preschool, which will have sessions from 9 to 11:30 a.m., will use the same calendar as Fox River Grove District 3.

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