Pictured here: the windows to Little Makers located just beside our Gateway location!


In September of 2019, HQ opened a new space in the Gateway Plaza as a part of a larger community development in the area. HQ is excited for all of its current and upcoming neighbors within the plaza, but we cannot contain our excitement for the 2020 addition of a drop in daycare space founded by local entrepreneur, Alice Nelson!

Proving out its model in its first location in south Raleigh, Little Makers Academy provides a collaborative learning environment for children ages 6 months to 6 years, and at the new Gateway Plaza Location, Little Makers will be able to provide a drop-in version of their services to HQ members and to the community at large. 

“This is huge for HQ and for Raleigh,” explains Jess Porta, Director of HQ Raleigh, “We don’t currently have a good solution outside of traditional daycare for entrepreneurs who are parents in the area. As a parent-to-be, I am worried about affording and managing traditional daycare in a family with two working partners. Having a drop in model would allow for me to have a lot of freedom to take meetings, work on projects, and maintain some work-life balance at the same time.”

And that is exactly why Alice Nelson, founded Little Makers. Alice is a mother of two and she saw a need for convenient, customized child care after her husband had to miss their daughter’s Preschool Performance due to the inconvenience of work related projects and heavy traffic leaving out of the RTP area December 2015. From that experience, she founded their first location, in close proximity to downtown Raleigh, and has only seen the value of having convenient childcare grow from here. When Little Makers began, there were only 3 high quality day care providers in the downtown Raleigh area, and all of them were at capacity or had eligibility requirements that wouldn’t suit all families. Because of the growing demand for better work/life balance, insufficient availability of childcare services, and lack of experiential and discovery learning environments, Alice saw a gap in the market and the opportunity to solve an issue for herself and those like her. 

“Our mission is to provide a safe expert service that honors each child, supports parents, and encourages ‘Makers’ through building/doing, collaborative learning, and creativity. Our program is more than childcare, it is Kindergarten preparedness, character building, and a creative Makerspace component,” says Nelson. And over the next few years, they hope to continue to grow and provide childcare solutions to working parents at or near their place of work. 

Little Makers will be opening mid-March! As the date approaches, HQ will be sure to share the rates and how to enroll your child in drop-in services.


Alice Nelson, Founder of Little Makers Academy