Establishing A Child Care Center with Turtle Pond Preschool

Now the program is the only licensed child care center in Scott County, Tennessee.

Cassie Young, owner and director of Turtle Pond Preschool in Huntsville, Tennessee, is no stranger to the child care field. Her roots in child care run deep, starting with working in her mother’s program as a teenager. Before she was old enough to care for children unsupervised in a classroom, Cassie wiped fingerprints off of doors, sanitized toys and cooked meals for her mother’s program. Eventually she learned the ins and outs of every position and daily operations of a program.

After deciding she wasn’t going to wipe noses and tie shoes for the rest of her life, Cassie headed off to college where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries and met her husband. After college, she moved to Scott County with her husband. She quickly realized there were not very many child care programs in the county.

Before starting down the road to opening her program though, she worked with the local 4-H Youth Development Program, where she made many valuable community connections. Even though she enjoyed her position and traveled the country, Cassie still just didn’t feel “settled.” 

So she took the leap, quit her job with 4-H and prayed about her next move. Everything was pointing towards child care. 

“I’ll forever say this was not my plan for my life. This was God’s plan. And I’m here because of that.” – Cassie Young, owner and director of Turtle Pond Preschool

Once her decision was made, Cassie quickly set about utilizing her community connections, resources available and her experience with child care and state regulations to create a program.

In the fall of 2021, Cassie received a newsletter from, announcing Establishment Grants for new programs in the pre-licensure process. The rest is history.

Listen to Cassie in her own words and watch the video below!

The road has been long and winding, but Cassie now owns and operates her own program, created in part with assistance from ChildcareTennessee’s Establishment Grant.

Thank you for everything you do in your community, Cassie!