Changes in Childcare: Emphasis Now on Early Learning

Daycare has come a long way over recent years. Gone are the days of baby sitters or just playing the day away until you were old enough to go to school. Now the emphasis is on early childhood development, which means kids start learning in a classroom long before they ever even go to school.
"I love these children. They are just the best thing in my life. How many places could you go and you get hugged 200 times a day?"

Kathy Sisson started the Center back in 1998, managing it for nearly 2 decades before she sold it.

A few years later, new owners brought her back to manage the place once more.

"I'm back and I've been back 3 months, and I've brought back programs that had been lost in this facility," Sisson said.

In just a short time, Sisson has increased enrollment by leaps and bounds.

"We go above and beyond normal child care facilities. We're teachers not baby sitters. The schools are expecting it now. It's not just play until they're 4 or 5 years old then go to school," said Sisson.

Sisson said that children who are not adequately prepared for school are destined to fall behind.

"They have to know their shapes, their colors, their letters, all the way to lining up in a hall way, and how to transition from one class to another," Sisson said.

The Creative Learning Center looks just like a school classrooms for each different age group, tailor made and furnished to accommodate each group's different learning level.

Sisson said that even the babies are being taught.

"I believe that children learn from birth, so we need to start that lesson planning from infancy," said Sisson. "And basically in babies we would work on brain development, sensory development, all the way into the 1 year old room, still sensory developments and their social skills and things like that. All the way up into the preschool room where we're preparing them for school. Things like that."

It's no secret that child care isn't cheap.

Prices can range from 120 to 150 dollars a week for infants.

Sisson said that it shouldn't deter anyone from seeking quality care.

"The cost, you know, if it's 5 dollars cheaper somewhere, don't look at that," Sisson said. "I would drive 100 miles to get mine to a quality facility."

Sisson added that there are many programs available to assist with costs, such as CCS, or Child Care Services, and some schools even, like South Plains college that offers aid to students who are parents. 

"What you would want to look for in a child care facility is their heart basically, that's all I can tell you," Sisson said. "Knowing what that director is about and that owner. Are they here to care about these families?"

At the end of each busy day, Sisson said that child care should most importantly accomplish the same goal it always has.

"It's just a great feeling of comfort to love on those babies and hug on them and rock them and give them everything that they need so that mom and dad can go to work knowing that we're loving on those babies," Sisson said. "We want to be their help when they're not around. To be as close to mom and dad as we can be."

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