A full-year round childcare facility, the Mount Vernon Childcare Center offers childcare for children from 6 weeks through K5, five days a week from 6:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., with an after school program for children up to 2nd grade.
“We have various programs for parents to choose from full-time Monday through Friday to our preschool from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. and our 3-day or 4-day programs,” said Leslie Burkett, who currently serves as the center’s director. “We’re excited we added our K5 Academy this year to see how things would go, and we’re hoping to do it again next year.”
Burkett said the cost of the programs at the center range from $97.50 for full-time to $50 for preschool, and $18 to $20 for the 3 or 4 day programs, which includes lunch and snacks.
“We limit our class sizes to just 10 students, and our students generally stay with us until they start the first grade. So we don’t have a lot of openings at the moment,” Burkett said. “But you never know when one might become available, so we encourage parents who are interested in placing their child with us to go ahead and put their name on our list.”
Burkett said most of their students came to the Center by word of mouth, and the center has grown tremendously over the past few years simply by parents telling other parents about the center, which opened in 2009 with 50 something students.
“We currently have 90 students, of which we are very proud, and still have a little room to grow. And 90 percent of our staff have been here since the Center opened in 2009,” Burkett said. “But the one thing we’re most proud of is the fact our deibel testing scores for our Pre-K ranks among the highest in Walker County, and we credit that to our teachers and the curriculum we use, which is the A Beka Book Christian-based academic curriculum.”
Mount Vernon Childcare is a self-funded, non-profit facility, which means it does not receive any kind of assistance from the government.
“We don’t receive any government funding, such as for food or anything like that,” Burkett said. “We are self-sufficient and we like being that way. The church monitors our day to day operations and insures we follow all the state regulations and guidelines very stringently.”
Burkett said every dollar collected for tuition cost is used to operate the facility, from covering administrative costs, such as paying for utilities, purchasing food and covering salaries to purchasing other items needed for the facility such as rugs, baby beds, toys and other new gadgets available for children.
“We have made a lot of improvements in the last two or three years and every dollar we take in goes right back into our facility,” Burkett said. “But I think our biggest accomplishment comes when one of our parents tells another parent about our facility, because they think we do a good job taking care of their children and are trustworthy,” Burkett said. “We tell parents, we treat our students the same way we want our own children to be treated, with loving kindness and compassion.”
Joyce Nettles, who teaches the students attending the Center’s new K5 Academy, said parents are welcome to stop by and visit her class anytime.
“Parents interested in signing their children up for our new K5 Academy can drop by anytime, we’d be more than happy to show them around,” Nettles said. “And we invited everyone to our K5 Academy Graduation on Friday, May 24, at 5:30 p.m. at the church. The students who will be graduating from the program this year will be reading from their favorite book and singing songs they learned in class.”