What is orange, loud, sticky, and saved the sanity of hundreds of women over the past six years?
It’s Hullabaloo in Hampstead, a community preschool with awesome events. On a moms list of survival tools, Hullabaloo ranks right up there with coffee and Chick-fil-A. Yes, we understand how serious that statement is, and we stand behind it.
Enter, Andrea West, tiny tot whisperer and owner/operator of Hullabaloo.
“The dream of Hullabaloo began several years before [we opened] with planning, more planning, and even more planning. It was a great huge dream, that was whittled down one decision at a time, into realization,” Andrea shared.
Hullabaloo is dedicated to keeping the class sizes small, to ensure every child receives plenty of individual attention, is able to learn in a stress free environment, and socializes. Socialization is one of the primary reasons most parents put toddlers into a preschool program from a young age.
Most of the teachers at Hullabaloo have undergraduate degrees in early childhood education, which is a wonderful asset. You can meet the special staff of Hullabaloo HERE.
Miss Dottie is one of those special teachers. She walked into Hullabaloo in October of 2016 and immediately felt at home.
“It was a good fit right from the beginning. Not only did my daughter love it right away, but it didn’t take me long to see how lucky I was to have found Hullabaloo. Right from the start, I felt a sense of family. Not only with my new coworkers, but with the families as well. Everyone supports each other. We want our students to grow and learn, but most importantly, to make them feel loved and cared about. We want parents to know we are not only there for their kids, but for them as well. I have met such wonderful people through Hullabaloo who I know I will keep in my life forever.” – Dottie Leaselogi, Hullabaloo four year old teacher.
Miss Dottie isn’t the only one who feels like family. Hullabaloo has a strong following of parents who have raised their children with the support of Hullabaloo and the incredible crew who works there.
With a mission to partner with parents and caregivers to raise healthy and happy children, Hullabaloo has made a strong impact on the community. That is most certainly because of its founder, Andrea West. She isn’t only known because of her business. Andrea is a fixture in the community, constantly pouring out her time for others.
“My favorite part of owning a business in Hampstead, is the connection it provides to the community. I never imagined in a million years, the relationships that would be formed,” she shared with a smile.
Andrea is one of those small but mighty women. With the energy of a toddler herself (minus the nap time), she just goes and goes and goes nonstop, constantly pouring herself out in love to her community. Why? She does it all in the name of Jesus, who she claims as her Lord and Savior.
When she isn’t working on the business, Andrea is serving somewhere else. She is heavily involved in serving at Renovation Church, where she spends Sunday mornings checking children into the nursery and Wednesday evenings teaching middle schoolers in the youth groups, among other things. She was a staple at Share the Table, for years serving as the checkout person every Tuesday.
“Getting parents connected with the community has been a huge unexpected responsibility. But it goes along with our vision and mission of raising healthy and happy children. If a parent isn’t doing well emotionally, spiritually, or mentally, they aren’t able to do as well of a job as they would otherwise,” Andrea explained.
She has a soft voice with a slight lilt that’s pleasant, a soothing balm to both toddlers and mothers.
No stranger to the child rearing game, Andrea has a 25 year old son, Tucker, who teaches youth at Scott’s Hill Baptist Church, along with a daughter in high school, Alli, and a football loving tween, Max. Running Hullabaloo is a family affair. Alli is baby-whisperer, with endless energy and love for all the little ones, no matter how stinky or snotty they are. Max and Tucker have both played characters for special events, and Andrea’s husband Steve is frequently stopping by in the evening to fix wobbly chairs and blinking lights.
“I’m convinced that parenting is the hardest job in the world and it is constantly changing. Sometimes a mama just needs to hear they are doing a good job, even when their day is falling apart all around them. When we opened, I thought I would just come to work, smile, and say hello, clean up a bit and plan fun events. I never imagined I would be hugging necks, counseling moms to just breath, wearing tear-stained shoulders. At times the pain of what some of these women are carrying has been overwhelming – but every day I pray for the right words and wisdom.”
This community is full of mamas who have laughed, cried, collapsed, yawned, lamented, and found solace at front counter of Hullabaloo. It’s funny how a small business for the youngest children, can have such a massive effect on the people responsible for them.
Enrollment for preschool begins in February each year. They offer a 2 day, 3 day, and 4 day preschool program for children ages 3-4 years old (as of August 31). They offer a 2 day program for two year olds.
Be sure to check out all the upcoming summer camps they have. Sign up quickly, before they fill up! If you love to send your kiddo to camps all summer long, Ecological Marine Adventures also has a great range of camps, you can learn about HERE.