Veteran Los Angeles Police Training Officer Stuart Guidry had seen enough young people
lose hope and become unreachable, so that when he thought about retirement from
the force he dreamed of running a childcare center.
“I see childcare as a way of reaching out to youngsters, giving them a positive environment
and positive encounters, just the basic things that are so important and that we
often take for granted,” Guidry said. “I’ve seen lots of kids that don’t get that benefit and a lot of them end
up being juveniles that are institutionalized, dead or career criminals.”
To realize his passion to help young people, Guidry bought a house in Palmdale, California and planned to
open Guidry Family Childcare. He quickly realized that his 17 years as a police officer had not prepared him
to run a business. So, he phoned the district Small Business Administration office, was referred to the Small
Business Development Center (SBDC) hosted by College of the Canyons and obtained one-on-one consulting
services from SBDC consultant Gil Murphy. In just 90 days, Guidry was able to turn his dream into a reality
by completing a business plan with financials, acquiring a commercial loan to seed the business and to
market his company and childproofing and outfitting the house for business.
“I can’t put into words what a fantastic experience working with the SBDC has been for me,” Guidry said.
“My SBDC consultant Gil Murphy is just unbelievable. He has a library of knowledge about all aspects, from
writing a business plan to dealing with different issues that come up.”
Murphy, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, spent 20 years in executive management positions with various
small and mid-size companies. He guided Guidry through business plan creation, obtaining of city permits
and reviews of the property layout. They completed financial projections, support details for the business
plan, as well as a to-do list for lender meetings to consider business insurance, city business permits and
Thus equipped, the two met with representatives from Santa Clara Valley Bank in Santa Clarita, California,
got a verbal go-ahead to complete the bank’s paperwork for a $35,000 loan. Guidry has since renovated the
2,800 square foot childcare home to accommodate up to 14 children. With a few more years until his official
retirement, Guidry will rely on family members to staff the center, including his mother, who previously
ran her own daycare center; his father and Guidry’s daughter. He eventually hopes to expand out of the homebased
childcare center with its 14-child limit into a commercially run operation.
“He does have a passion for helping kids and this is his way to do it,” Murphy said. “He’s not just talking
about it; he’s doing something about it. And the SBDC will be here to help him grow his business!”