Spotlight On Business
Connie Hays’ Okie Dokie Daycare a
Connie Hays first moved to Nebraska in 1990 and then to
the Village of Mead, where she has been living for 15
years now. As a mother of 9, Connie had to find some
time for herself, but she also loved being with
Tired of not having a secure job and well versed in
caring for her 9 children, Connie decided to start her
own child care business – Okie Dokie Daycare. Finding
the right business location can be challenging, and for
Connie it took several months. She finally decided on
Fremont, where the business is still located.
“It was quite fun when we went to an auction and bought
a lot of things we needed for the daycare. It was the
hottest day of the year but the most fun. We made 7
trips in a pick-up to bring it all back here. Wow!”
Connie said, remembering what it takes to start a
Just as she was about to open the doors, Connie
discovered she had to have a fire Monitoring System
installed first. With no money to do this and 21 kids
already signed up, she started looking for funds, but
the doors were closed to her. Connie turned to REAP and
worked with Business Specialist Adriana Dungan.
With a $6,000 REAP loan, she proceeded to install the
fire system and got the business open to the public.
“The loan was for the fire system. Without it we could
not have opened,” Connie said.
Okie Dokie Daycare has 12 employees now, and the
business has grown almost up to its limit. Connie is
planning on opening the daycare for 24 hour services for
families that have to work different shifts. Hers will
be the only daycare center in the area providing these
Connie is involved with the Chamber of Commerce and
participates in different community events. She is
married to husband Patrick.
Okie Dokie Daycare
416 E. 1st St.
Fremont, NE 68025