RINCON — In a year when most Georgia daycare centers struggled and many closed their doors, a local one garnered the the state’s highest rating — three stars.
Teach Love and Care Learning Center LLC at 160 Silverwood Court was the only facility to even apply, let alone be awarded Quality Rated’s top designation in its 40-county region.
Quality Rated is an achievement that childcare centers can get in Georgia by submitting a portfolio of their program with their teachers’ qualifications, education, standards for nutrition, curriculum, etc. They also undergo a live observation.
Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic hit early last year, Quality Rated officials set up a virtual grading process. Teach Love and Care Learning Center was able to achieve the highest rating and will be reassessed every three years.
Owner and Director Deborah Enoch started the Teach Love and Care Leaning Center in 2016. She said the hardest part with dealing with COVID-19 was simply not knowing what to do at first even though many parents still had to work and needed reliable daycare.
She closed the center on March 30 of 2020 but was able to open again to serve critical workers on April 24. During this time, it offered virtual storytelling for the children and had art activities for the parents that they could do at home.
After thoroughly cleaning the building, the center was able to slowly reopen, following the recommendations given by the CDC. Workers did temperature checks and hand washing so that they could stay open.
Even today with the governor lifting his state of emergency declaration, they still adhere to COVID-19 safety precautions and are finally back at full capacity, which is 56 children.
Enoch said it was important to her and to her staff that the facility aim for the highest rating that it could attain. She credited her staff for putting in the work to go for the top rating.
She emphasized that everything here is for the children, saying, “It’s all for them and it’s for them to play and through their play, they’re learning. They don’t know they’re learning stuff but it’s our position to set things out so they’ll pick them up and say, ‘What is this?’”
Enoch also the children to differing cultures through activities and even food.
She said, “We’re raising everybody up together — Black and white, Asian. We have everything.”
Because of its top rating, Teach Love and Care Learning Center parents can apply for CAPS scholarships from the state that pay a portion of their fees. The assistance is based on income level.
Parents have to find a Quality Rated center between August and Dec. 31 in order to take advantage of these scholarships. They will have all fees covered by the state through 2024.
Visit decal.ga.gov for more information.
“Effingham County truly needs more quality childcare with the people coming in,” Enoch said, adding there is always a waiting list for her program.
She said the rating reaffirms the quality that this facility offers the community.