The True Meaning of Home Grown 1

Our story is one with deep roots that began right here in the heart of Ocotillo.

Mona’s Country Day School opened in the late 70s when my aunt Ramona Felix began watching children, mainly for parents who worked across the street at Bashas’ corporate office. Over the years, the city of Chandler and the daycare grew, which increased the need to expand and add more classrooms to accommodate the children.

I would be remiss not to mention that this school was originally my grandparent’s home, where my father, his brothers and sisters all grew up. Three generations of the Felix family and extended family have attended Mona’s Country Day School. My grandmother, Mary Basha-Felix, won a contest to rename the area Ocotillo, which was formerly known as Goodyear, when the Goodyear Tire Company was located out here.

In 1999, my husband and I purchased the daycare and home from my aunt who was ill and could not continue operating the business. We chose to keep the name, Mona’s Country Day School, in honor of my aunt who still resides in Arizona.

We are currently in our 16th year of running the family-owned business. We are a small, family-oriented child care center, licensed for 59 children. We have a unique set up in that our home is actually located on the same property. The daycare and home however, are separated. While we are a state-licensed daycare facility, I have been told by many families that they like the sense of family at our center. I often hear that it feels like a home.

Families really enjoy our spacious outdoor playground with plenty of green grass and large shade trees that allow the children to run, play and explore. Our wonderful staff takes the time to really get to know all of the children and parents, not just the children who are in their classrooms. Children have the opportunity to visit and interact with their siblings during the day. You will almost always find me here because I truly enjoy interacting with the children and teachers and being part of the environment.

I am also a native of Chandler. I grew up in the area and have many fond childhood memories of Ocotillo.  We have families who still come back to see us with their grown children because of the great memories they, too, have.  We even have former students (now parents!) who bring their children to Mona’s Country Day School.

It’s been an honor to continue the family business and we look forward to many more years.

Neke Felix- Zamboni is the owner and director of Mona’s Country Day School. Learn more at