Erin & Ben Napier Admit Daughter Missed 19 Days of Kindergarten

Erin and Ben Napier


Erin and Ben Napier (with their daughters) of HGTV’s “Home Town”

When popular HGTV stars Erin and Ben Napier agreed to take on the tall task of transforming another small town for a third season of “Home Town Takeover,” they forgot one major detail. As they plotted out a schedule to renovate homes, businesses and public spaces in the town HGTV chose for the latest makeover — Sebring, Florida — the Napiers realized they’d have a kid in school for the first time.

In an interview published on June 4, 2024, Ben told People, “We were worried because attendance was not a thing I had thought about before.”

The Napiers, who live in their own small town — Laurel, Mississippi — learned that their oldest daughter Helen, who turned six in January, wasn’t allowed to miss more than 21 days of the school year. So they coordinated with their production and construction crews to film when Helen’s school had long weekends or days off from school. Filming began in February and ended , according to People, Helen missed 19 days total.

Erin chimed in, “But the school was very understanding, and we got everything done — all of the makeup work!”

Working around Helen’s school schedule was just one of the ways the Napiers juggled work and family while filming “Home Town Takeover,” which wrapped in late May and will air in early 2025, per HGTV.

Erin & Ben Napier Say They Have an ‘Army of Support’ to Help With Their Girls

In addition to Helen, the Napiers are parents to daughter Mae, who turned three in late May. Despite the school schedule conundrum, the couple says filming “Home Town Takeover” has grown easier as their girls have gotten older — and because they have lots of help.

Recalling filming the first season of “Home Town Takeover” in Wetumpka, Alabama, Erin told People, “Season 1 nearly killed us. It was the hardest thing we had ever done.”

“I was pregnant, and we had a toddler, and it was COVID and we didn’t know anybody,” she explained. “But now, our girls are 6 and 3 and we have a little more freedom to bring them — they’ve been here with us every step of it.”

The second season of “Takeover” took place in Fort Morgan, Colorado, where the Napiers split renovation duties with Dave and Jenny Marrs of “Fixer to Fabulous” in an effort to be away from home less.

Erin told People, “There’s no way you do this without an army of support at home and here,” sharing that they lean on the girls’ grandmas during work trips.

“We bring one of our moms every time we come,” Ben said of filming in Florida, and Erin quipped, “And our moms don’t hate it either.”

“Their life here was totally different from our life here,” Ben explained. They’re on vacation, they’ve been swimming every day.”

“They swim and fish and take field trips to the orange grove,” Erin added. “This is a dream for them. We’ve had summer vacation feelings the whole time, even though we’re working harder than we’ve ever worked in our lives.”

Erin & Ben Napier Say ‘Home Town Takeover’ Crew Has Become Like Family

It also helps, the Napiers told People, that the “Home Town Takeover” crew feels like one big family, especially since they got to reunite with a couple of old friends. On February 23, Erin revealed in an Instagram post that for the third season, they reunited with their former “Home Town” director, Jim MacPherson, and another blast from the past: their former contractor Jonathan Walters.

Walters appeared on every episode of “Home Town” during its first three seasons, up until April 2019, when Erin shared via Instagram that he was moving to Florida with his family. Recalling how they were all juggling babies at the time he left, Erin told People that Walters brought his kids to the “Takeover” shoots to play with the Napiers’ kids and help with projects.

“Now the kids can do so much,” she said. “We were just at one of the houses, doing gardening, and our kids were helping us paint garden signs.”

Meanwhile, HGTV designer and “Revealed” star Veronica Valencia shared on Instagram when the show wrapped in May that even though she was away from her kids for 50 days during filming, working behind the scenes “was truly a gift and one of the most creatively fulfilling projects of my life.”

“What the design & build team, plus production pulled off with the town of Sebring was a massive undertaking and I am so extremely proud we did it with such ease and big smiles on our faces,” she wrote.

Liv Lane is an entertainment writer who covers the Hallmark Channel, HGTV, American Idol and The Voice for Heavy. Based in Minneapolis, she has three decades of experience as a local and national radio host, columnist and publicist, interviewing and working with a wide range of celebrities over the years, from Deepak Chopra to Lil Nas X. More about Liv Lane

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