Faye Osborne, 80, provided one-of-a-kind childcare for the children of Clarendon for over 50 years. She gave parents peace of mind as she looked after generations of children at her daycare located in her own home. Better known as Mama Faye, Osborne explained why she began her daycare, and how it has impacted her life over the years.
“Technically, I started when I was 15, keeping four kids. Then later, I opened the business and started to keep more,” said Osborne.
When asked why she wanted to get into the daycare business, Osborne had a heartwarming answer. “I just always loved children, and I still do. I wish I could still keep a house full. There’s just something about children, especially a baby, that just warms my heart,” she said.
Her love for children was clear in the way she spoke about them. She recalled, “Sometimes they would fuss in the mornings, didn’t wanna come in, but then at the end of the day, they wouldn’t wanna go home. I had the best children, and this is no story, every child that I kept turned out great. And their mothers let me know every time they see me.”
Osborne expressed lots of gratitude about the success of her business, and she credited the children she kept and their parents for much of it. “They listened. They were good children. I never had a problem. And parents, I had the best parents too. And I would really love to see each and every one of them. And I just thank them for helping me make my life so good.”
Though her daycare days are behind her, Osborne is still involved with the children in her life by babysitting and homeschooling her ten-year-old granddaughter, and by keeping City Administrator Scott Tanner’s two daughters when needed.
Osborne reflects fondly on her days as the caretaker of many of Clarendon’s children, stating, “The children I kept have kids of their own now,” and she ended the interview with, “It was my calling in life, and I never regretted a day of it.”
Osborne’s love for children was emphasized by statements from her three surviving daughters. Her daughter Jessica Nunnery spoke about how hardworking her mother was, saying, “She took this business and she raised four children of her own all by herself. And she put all of us through school and college by running the daycare.”
Her daughter, Darle Rogers, said, “My mom’s a very giving person. She’d give you the shirt off her back. She said that’s why she’s not a millionaire, because she gave it all away.”
Rogers also talked about how all the parents who took their kids to Mama Faye’s always commented on how clean it always was, and how quiet and well-behaved the children were when they were there. “She respected the children. She wasn’t strict with them, she was just organized with a good routine,” Rogers said.
Osborne’s other daughter, Jamie White, spoke about the welcoming environment her mother created for the children she cared for. “She wanted her daycare to be the kid’s second home. She just always treated you like you were home and she didn’t treat the kids that she kept any different than she treated us. She just wanted us all to be good, do good, listen, and learn.”
And the children did learn from Mama Faye. White explained, “We learned life skills from her, like how to never give up and to keep going. Not to be discouraged if we didn’t make it the first time. She was encouraging, and she was there for you when you were discouraged.”
White then said, “She’s my mom, she’s my best friend. And she’s a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s hard to even put in words.”
The three daughters all talked about one astonishing aspect of Mama Faye’s effect on the kids. They all said that almost every single child Osborne helped grow is now successful in one way or another.
“She helped make the children who they are today. All of them that I talk to or see are very productive, well-rounded, hardworking people,” White said.
“All the kids I have heard from have done well,” Rogers said.
“Every person that has come through her daycare has been successful in some way or another. I think it’s because she blessed those children and instilled a good Christian foundation,” Nunnery said.