When Jim Bettinger and Mike Zoda heard about Growing Room Child Development Centers, they wanted to know more. The whole concept – the child-friendly look of the school, all the bright colors – seemed to say, “Kids welcome here.” Growing Room was backed by solid curriculum and even more important – results. According to teachers at “big school,” children who come from Growing Room come to them “ready to learn.”

Growing Room’s excellence stems from exceptional management with more than 25 years in leadership, child care development and education. Learn more about your local school’s leadership.


Jim Bettinger, Co-Owner

Jim and his wife Julie are part of a large family and have been involved with children’s programs throughout their 30-year marriage. Jim helped to develop three Growing Room Centers in Tallahassee and when he heard about the opportunity to take the concept to his hometown of Jacksonville, he jumped at the chance. A business man by trade, Jim has owned and developed multiple businesses throughout his career and combines his knowledge of people with his passion for children. This combination is a hands-on owner who frequents the school and knows many of the children and parents by name.

Fun Fact about Jim: He had a sideline pass to the 2010 Gator Bowl, FSU vs. WVU, Bobby Bowden’s final college game as head coach.

Mike Zoda,  Co-Owner

Mike Zoda has been a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist for more than 25 years. He has presented at the International Meeting of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, the National Council on Family Relations, as well as served as a panel presenter at the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Mike graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University and he completed a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Florida State University (FSU), before receiving a second Ph.D. through the Interdivisional Program in Marriage and Family at FSU in 1988. Mike and his wife Carla have three grown children between them and five grandchildren – four of them quadruplets. Mike has a passion for learning and believes all children have the right to an educational experience which will help to instill a life-long love of learning.

Fun Fact about Mike:  Mike spent twelve years in graduate school; he exemplifies the passion for life-long learning!

Mike and Jim believe learning includes safety, integrity and fun. Growing Room welcomes the opportunity to provide this environment to the community. Your family will benefit from this significant opportunity in early childhood education.