By Lettie Stratton
Elsa Bosma has lived in Shelburne for 10 years and has been busy operating her business, Puddle Jumpers Child Care, for the past six. She first started her business to spend time with her kids: Miles, 10, Emma, 7, and Delaney, 4. From there, things spread and expanded simply by word of mouth. “I love what I do,” Bosma says.
Bosma cares for children of all ages. Right now, she has an age range of 3 months to 10 years. Seven kids come during the day and five to six more get dropped off by the bus after school. “I have such a wonderful community,” Bosma says, adding that she has a solid base of “regulars” and has become friends with the parents of many of the kids she cares for.
Born in San Antonio, Tex., Bosma moved to Maryland then lived in Germany for six years because her father was a physician in the Air Force. She relocated to Burlington when she was in 7th grade. Now, her brother and parents live in Shelburne and her sister lives in Colchester. Bosma has been married for 11 years to Mark Bosma of Hinesburg, who works for Vermont Emergency Management. The couple lived in Essex before moving to Shelburne following the birth of their first child. “I absolutely love it here,” Bosma says.
In 2011, Bosma was chosen as Child Care Provider of the Year by the Building Bright Futures Council of Chittenden County. Between running her business and volunteering in her children’s classrooms at Shelburne Community School, Bosma somehow finds time to be an advocate in the fight against unionizing child care providers. “I’ve learned a lot about politics,” she says. “I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone.” Bosma has been spearheading grassroots efforts in Vermont through Vermonters for the Independence of Child Care Professionals for a year and a half.
Bosma said if she had more free time, she might pursue artistic endeavors. At Trinity College, she was a double major in psychology and fine arts. “I miss having a creative outlet,” she added.
Bosma is certainly staying busy, though, especially during this time of year. “Shelburne does such a nice job in the fall,” she said. “There’s too much to do! I love seeing the leaf people.”
Interests/hobbies: Reading, knitting, and spending time with family. Elsa and her family take their camper to Georgia, Vt. nearly every weekend.
Favorite book: “I like fiction. I devour books!”
Favorite movie: “The Princess Bride”
Favorite food/restaurant: “I love the Bearded Frog and vegetarian food…and anything that’s made for me and that I don’t have to clean up!”
Favorite Shelburne haunt: With a 12-week-old black lab puppy named Oliver, Elsa has been spending a lot of time at the dog park lately.
Most memorable concert: Seeing U2 in Montreal 11 years ago.
What’s on your bucket list? “I’d love to travel cross-country with my kids and educate and immerse them in the cultures of the United States.”