TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Running Handprints Child Care, Inc. has been a labor of love for Mary Hughes.
"I always wanted 15 to 16 babies," she laughs. "But I only had one, so I started child care in November 1996."
"I like to see kids grow and plant their seeds before school so that they can get through life," she said of her business philosophy.
Hughes started out as a single mom having to provide for her child. She says she knows what parents go through.
"I just want to be of service to parents," she said. "You know you worry about your child and you need to concentrate on work, knowing your child is okay."
Hughes runs Handprints out of her home on 884 SE Brookside Drive. With her crop of 20 kids and four teachers, as well as her business, she makes sure they are always growing.
"We participate in Kansas quality rating scales. We are a four star day care," she said. "We go through as much training as we can."
And it pays of for her and for the children.
"I have kids who are 16 and they are "A" students and they are doing good and that makes me happy."
Being nominated by the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce was especially emotional since Hughe's has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
"I was just focused on healing," she said. "It was overwhelming. I cried for days," she said.