It's been a while since I posted any updates, but its been busy! Parents, you will see a few new faces around the center. We have grown by about 2.5 times our expected rate which has made it necessary that we put some new folks on staff. Example: We had seven new kids start last week and three so far this week. Please be assured that we have the best interests of your kids at heart and only hire those we feel will be a good fit for our center. We have been doing continuous interviews since we opened and do our best to have teachers ready to hire when the need arises so that we can make the best decision possible. We are working hard for you all and greatly appreciate your support! Keep those referrals coming, we are ready for them!
One question that we are frequently asked here is "How can you offer personalized care in such a large center or environment?" We often hear comments that a small center would be preferable or that a small in-home type center has the ability to offer better and/or higher quality care. I'd like you to consider a few things if you have that perception:
1. When you hear of accidents/tragic situations or case of neglect, they often occur in a small or in home center.
2. In-home centers are allowed to have several children of varying ages at the same time.
3. When children of varying ages are in the same environment, it is difficult to target one specific level of curriculum.
4. Smaller centers are often located in buildings that are not suitable for child care and must be extensively converted to make them even passable.
5. There is no accountability when only one person is providing care. There is also no ability for that person to take a break or walk away while another care-giver comes in to relieve them in a stressful situation.
In a large, high quality center such as ours, here are some advantages:
1. Lots of accountability! We have management in place that is not responsible for a class, so they can oversee what is going on. We also frequently have multiple teachers in one class, which reduces the likelihood of accidents due to neglect or inappropriate behavior. WE ALSO HAVE CAMERAS IN EACH ROOM TO HOLD EVERYONE ACCOUNTABLE.
2. Targeted curriculum. We offer a kindergarten-prep oriented curriculum that is designed to fit each age level. We can better facilitate learning when we are teaching one age group at a time. Each class is made up of one age group.
3. Purpose-built facility. Our facility is designed for child care and child care only. Each room is set up to meet or exceed the square footage required per child allowed in that age group and each room is designed for it's specific age group. Our building is also secure, with a coded entrance.
4. Resources. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in our center that can be applied for the good of the whole center. We also are able to offer better equipment and supplies for the benefit of our children.
We know of in-home centers that are great! Most child care providers have good intentions and seek to take good care of the children that they are responsible for. This is not meant to be a blanket condemnation of small or in-home centers, and as small business owners we know what it takes to operate ANY business and we wish them well. Good centers come in all shapes and sizes, just like good people. It is my opinion however, that a large, well equipped, well run and staffed center can offer superior care. It is true however, that there are large centers that do a very poor job as well. Some are concerned with only the bottom line that a large center can provide and not with the well-being of the children. We believe that at Children's Academy, we offer high quality care, a secure building, lots of accountability and a great environment for your kids.
The activity on our page has begun to pick up and social media and our website have been our primary mean of outreach so far. When Lana and I built our center in Highview in 2007, our primary advertisements were signage, banners and yard signs spread throughout the community. After that, we began to dabble in direct mail. My how the times have changed! Both have their ups and downs, but I am really enjoying the direct connection that we have through social media. It seems that we have built relationships that matter right from the start with this center, and our Director, Miss Bethany has done a fantastic job of managing contacts through Facebook. We continue to get Facebook messages and emails through our website almost daily, and they outnumber phone calls as the "first contact" from customers by three to one!
Our enrollment is still increasing, and we thank our customers for that! We have the best kids and parents in SW Jefferson!