Longtime owner of Lane Street daycare center in Yreka retiring, moving to Idaho
Kathy Crossman knew young Yreka parents since they were in diapers.
Since 1986, the owner of Lane Street Children’s Center in Yreka cared for more than 1,750 children between the ages of 2 and 10.
Now Crossman, 62, is selling her daycare business and the historic building that houses it, and moving to Idaho.
“I’ve never been bored a day,” Crossman said of her 35-year career. “When you work with children, you never know what’s going to happen.”
It’s hard to think about leaving Siskiyou County after so many years, she said. “This year, eight of our children are second-generation students. Their parents attended Lane Street.”
Lane Street's future
“We share our sincere appreciation for (Crossman’s) decades of dedication and care for families and young children,” First 5 Siskiyou Executive Director Karen Pautz said in a statement issued by the family support agency.
Both the business and building at 631 Lane St. were in escrow on Tuesday.
Site supervisor Ronya Merel and the business’ new owner Neveen Mourad of San Jose will keep the current programs and staff, Crossman said. “We’ve had the business for sale to just the right buyer. When she (Mourad) visited (and) said she wanted to keep everything the same, we knew we had the right buyer.”
Mourad plans to stay in San Jose and visit Yreka once a month, Crossman said.
How it all started
In 1986, Crossman and her husband Dennis bought the historic Jesse Davis house — built in 1905. They lived upstairs and opened the daycare downstairs.
They did it all out of love for family.
The couple moved to Siskiyou County from San Diego in 1986 with Eric — their only child at that time — who is disabled.
“He needed to be around other children for peer modeling to help develop language and social skills,” Crossman said.
At first, Crossman worked as a janitor at Over the Rainbow pre-school in exchange for her son’s tuition. When the school closed a few months later, Crossman went to Southern Oregon University to study early childhood education, then opened Lane Street.
Their son Andrew and daughter Joy were born in Siskiyou County.
The couple will retire to care for Eric, now in his 40s, Crossman said. They plan to move to Boise where their youngest son, Andrew, runs assisted living facilities for people with disabilities like his brother's.
“We get to be close to our grandchildren and (Eric) gets to participate in a wonderful program,” Crossman said.
She feels she’s leaving her daycare in good hands, she said. “I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to create over the years. I think we’re leaving a good legacy behind.”
Jessica Skropanic is a features reporter for the Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. She covers science, arts, social issues and entertainment stories. Follow her on Twitter @RS_JSkropanic and on Facebook. Join Jessica in the Get Out! Nor Cal recreation Facebook group. To support and sustain this work, please subscribe today. Thank you.