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A Small Daycare with a Big Heart

Palazzolo Raquel Daycare | This daycare has been in existence for about 30 years and will soon be passed down through three generations.

A Personal Touch | The owners say they treat the children like family.

Daycares in Culver City | This map shows the location of over twenty daycares in the Culver City community.

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Why Kids "Come Home" to Palazzolo Raquel Daycare

By Christina Schoellkopf

A young eight-year-old stood in front of Palazzolo Raquel Daycare in Culver City, Calif. like she had never left. She stood on her toes and stretched her neck to look through the daycare’s glass window before ringing the doorbell.

The daycare owner and her daughter, Noemi Palazzolo and Beatriz Morales, held babies in each hand and sat in the living room of their daycare. They turned to the door and scrunched their faces as they tried to identify the curious little face outside staring back at them.

The little girl’s name was Lilou, and after moving from her first home in Southern California to the South of France, she was back for a visit.

“Right when her family returned [to Los Angeles], Lilou cried, ‘Daddy let’s go visit Noemi!’” Noemi Palazzolo, the owner of Palazzolo Raquel Daycare, said.

And according to Palazzolo, it was not the first time that a familiar face returned to pay a friendly visit.

“It makes me feel like I do a good job,” Palazzolo said. “To raise these babies and love them so much that they want to come back...that is how I define my success.”

Palazzolo Raquel Daycare is located on Irving Place, a side street off the busy Culver Boulevard in the Culver City Art District. Palazzolo said she prides herself in running a daycare out of the comfort of her own home.

“Running a home-style daycare means I am opening the doors of my private home to the public each and every morning.” Palazzolo said. “That is not always easy to do, but it is so rewarding to support these kids and watch them grow."

Palazzolo runs the business with the help of her husband, Javier Morales, and their daughter, Beatriz. The owners described their home-style care as friendly and intimate.

Noemi Palazzolo said she never felt the need to create a professional website for her business, since most of her customers find the company through word of mouth.

“New parents just pop in all the time with big smiles,” Palazzolo said. “When I ask where they found me, they say I come up in conversation around the neighborhood. I guess my little place stands out."

Javier Morales said the majority of parents who use their services are either single mothers or married couples who both work. Morales said that when times are hard and parents cannot afford their prices, they are accommodating for loyal customers.

“As a father, I know it is not easy supporting the kids,” Morales said. “If they need help, we are very flexible.”

Mogo Loera, a single mother from Culver City, Calif., leaves her three-year-old son, Fernando, in Palazzolo’s care five times a week when she goes to work.

Loera said she especially appreciates Palazzolo’s generosity and understanding. She had to budget for a surgery in 2012 and could not afford Palazzolo’s regular pricing of $250 a week.

“What was I supposed to do? I still had to keep my Fernando in good care, but it was too much,” Loera said. “Miss Noemi lowered my price that year. I have been working hard ever since, so I can eventually pay her back.”

Beatriz Morales, Noemi and Javier’s 22-year-old daughter and a recent graduate of the Art Institute of California Los Angeles, said families come to her parents’ daycare because they can tell that her mother and father genuinely love taking care of kids.

Beatriz is an only child, but said growing up with so many children around her made her feel like their big sister. She has loved taking care of the newborns since she was in high school, because she feels a special connection with each child.

“The kids who come have always felt like my own little siblings to me,” Morales said. “We give them a lot of love each day, and I think that's what sets us apart from other places.”

Noemi Palazzolo's mother used to run the daycare, and she feels blessed to have been able to keep her mother’s legacy running for over 30 years. Palazzolo said someday she plans to pass the daycare onto her own daughter to keep their family tradition alive through three generations.

“We are a family business that tries our very best to treat customers like family, too,” Palazzolo said. “I like to think of myself as a mother who keeps on giving.”

The Daycare Team

Javier Morales | Fun Fact: Javier enjoys speaking to the kids in Spanish.

Noemi Palazzolo | Fun Fact: Noemi enjoys reading while the kids nap.

Beatriz Morales | Fun Fact: Beatriz aspires to be a mother as loving as her own.

A Journey Through Their Care

Special Moments