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Day Care

Two lists:
Thanks again for all of the kind replies regarding daycare centers. Some asked me to share my findings. I'm wrapping up as following. Besides, I just heard good things about Happy Kids Learning center, Miss Jeanelle's Too, and Miracle Years of learning, in Hull or Colbert. I visited Happy kids and I liked it! But the only concern I have is, why are they all cheap? Does it mean they are not as good?
  • My son went to Downs Preschool and we were VERY, VERY pleased!!!
  • My son is at Georgia's Elite Preschool (formerly Legacy Academy) and we are very happy with his Pre-K teachers. He was previously at Kids R Kids when he was months old and I was not happy at all with them and then is when we moved to GEP.
  • I'm not sure where you live, but Oglethorpe Children's Academy is WONDERFUL. It is between Crawford and Lexington (in Oglethorpe County). They are modeled much the same at Champions for Children - they are a private day care, and they also have 2 lottery-funded Pre-Ks. They are loving, professional, and very very caring. My son went to Pre-K there and it was WONDERFUL - he LOVED the people there and he learned ALOT. I know this may not be a convenient location for you, but I wanted to mention it in case you are interested.
  • Oglethorpe Children's Academy in Oglethorpe County is wonderful!! They do have people that drive quite a distance to go there. 706-743-7400
  • My daughter goes to the former Legacy Academy now Georgia's Elite Preschool. She is in the 3 years old class. She has been in this preschool for two years and over all, we are extremely happy because she is HAPPY. It is a long drive for us each morning and afternoon since we live on the East side of Athens, so when we enrolled her into GEP, we also added her onto the waiting list for Champions for Children. We finally got a phone call from CFC a year later, but we ended up turning it down even thought we could of cut our drive into half. We decided that seeing our daughter so happy was more important. Having said all that here are few good things and few bed things we have noticed over the 2 years. Keep in mind, I am pretty overprotective mom. I love seeing my child happy and for majority times, she is happy there: pros: It has code protected entry, sign in and sing out system, classrooms are clean, many toys, good kids, pretty good food considering this is the south. After being there for a full year, you get a few perks such as unpaid one week a year (vacation) and 1/2 off tuition if sick for more then 3 days with Dr. excuse. cons: Majority teachers are very nice, although, we did noticed a high turn around in the first year there. Nothing since then. The last 3 classes we have gone through starting and finishing with the same teachers. The only complain I have had my daughter is pretty advance and they have always try to put her in the older class earlier then she was ready to. Last May, after they moved her to a class with kids who were almost a year older, she started showing signs of unhappiness. As soon as we mentioned this to the director, they worked with us right a way and moved her back to her old class and did not transitioned her until we felt she was ready.
  • The PreSchool Academy is wonderful! My son is in their pre-k class this year and loves it. I think you will be very happy with them, but get on the list now before it fills up. Also, I was on the waiting list last year and a few spots opened up in June so you should be fine.
  • My Grandson went to Down's , not only did he love it all of his family did/does. Chase still goes by just to say hello.
  • My girl was put on the waiting list after pre-K assignment. We are looking for a private day care center that has lottery funded pre-K program and provide good care. We also have a 2 year old we'd like them both go to the same place. Any recommendations will be appreciated.
  • I know Champions for Children, Kids "R" kids and McPaul Center on campus are good, but they all have a long waiting list. If you have comments, positive or negative, about the following providers, that'll be great!
  • The preschool academy on Atlanta Highway Kiddieland Corporation on Hog mountain rd Oconee preschool academy on Mars Hill rd Downs preschool on Mars Hill rd Legacy academy for children on Daniels Bridge rd Childcare network on cedar shoals dr
  • Champions for Children (10 positive, 1 negative), 810 Olympic Drive, 546-9446,, Katy Arrowood - Director,, Hours: $170/wk, On waiting list as of 3/8/07
    • I have a niece that works at Champions for Children and she has worked at many day cares and really likes working at this one.
    • Our family is a big supporter of Champions for Children. We have known Katy Arrowood for years and really believe in her and the center. She doesn't have a lot of turn over of teachers and requires about twice as much continuing education for her teachers as the state requires. Both she and Nicki (the assistant director) are very approachable and easy to talk to.
    • My 2 year old is currently at Champions. He was also in a Home Care situation until he was almost a year old then moved to a daycare facility. He had a bad experience with the first center he went to but since moving to Champions I cannot say enough positive things about it. His development has soared and he loves his teachers. I highly recommend this facility. I too researched all the options in the Athens area and this one by FAR is the best.
    • My brother's family uses Champions for Children and they LOVE that daycare.
    • I have friends who take their children to Champions and they have wonderful things to say about Champions.
    • We've had our daughter at Champions for Children since May, when she was 10 weeks old (she's now 9 months.) We love Champs. She loves Champs. Katy, the director, is wonderful and the staff is really great. We have been very pleased with the care and attention she receives as well as Katy's philosophy regarding child development. We have no complaints and would highly recommend Champions for Children. Just got my girl into Champions for Children and she LOVES it. She's 4 yrs old. My best friend has both daughters there, one is 10mo and 1 is 3.5yrs old. They are all very happy too. The additional benefit (really big plus) to Champions for Children besides the fact that it is a very highly rated and excellent day care is that they participate in Georgia's lottery funded pre-K program (free). It's tough to get your child into pre-k there unless the child is already attending their day care. This week, attending Champions for the first time, she has been excited about going every day. It's a huge difference in her attitude towards going, HUGE. It's so hard to leave them at all but at least when they're excited about going you can take some comfort in that. Our daughter is at Champions for Children and we love it!
    • Jessica stayed with Champions for Children (on Olympic Drive) for a year when she was two and now goes to there state funded Pre-K. They have a great place, secure and small classes.
    • Champions for Children IS THE BEST . . . sign up NOW . . . it is hard to get in . . . tell Katy Arrowood and Beth Holliday that Kathryn Chetney sent you :-).
    • We heard the food that Champions feeds is really the kind of stuff that leads to child obesity, but I don't have direct knowledge of this.
  • Champions for Children (Watkinsville), 2881 Monroe Highway, Suite 201, 770-725-4117,, Nikki - Director, Hours: $170/wk (infants), $155/wk (14 months +), Opening in January
  • Cornerstone Christian Preschool (5 positive, 2 negative), 2150 Lexington Road, 549-0000,, Diane Rice - Director,, 7a - 6p, $145/week, Reserved a space for January!
    • My son and his wife, Sue, use Cornerstone Church of God Daycare on Lexington Road, they are very pleased there. My granddaughter is 5 months old. I took her the other morning. It is a very happy learning environment.
    • Our 3 yr old daughter has been at Cornerstone for the past 2 years. She loves it. They are great with the kids. I don't know if you have visited the preschool yet, but if not, just call Ms. Diane. Ms. Diane is the director of the preschool and she will be glad to have you come by and show you around so you can see where your baby's room will be and who the teachers/assistants will be. That's what we did before we placed Kala there.
    • We switched our son to Cornerstone Christian Academy because he will attend their private school program once he is of age and we wanted to get him used to the school. I feel that they have a good day care program.
    • I put my son in Cornerstone Preschool Academy when he was 6 months old. I was hesitant about putting a baby in a center but the staff there was wonderful. The director and assistant director are so personable and know each child and parent by name. Their curriculum is great, my son has learned things early and now knows things most 2 years haven't mastered yet.
    • I have had good results with Cornerstone Christian Pre-School Academy (on Lexington Road). So much so that I was on the Champions for Children waiting list when I enrolled my child in Cornerstone and when Champions called me with an opening, I decided to keep my child at Cornerstone. I have also met neighbors and co-workers that give Cornerstone good ratings. Also, I heard that a Champions worker has their child enrolled at Cornerstone.
    • Avoid Cornerstone Church of God. It is AWFUL and dos not provide good care for your child. Also, they have had several incidents where children were hurt and nothing was done about it.
    • Cornerstone Preschool on Lexington Road has a lot of ISSUES . . . we had a bad experience there . . . stay away from them.
  • Lifespan Montessori (2 positive), 960 College Station Road, 355-8471,, Martha Harper,
    • My child goes to Lifespan (Montessori program owned & operated by EPA). He's been there since he was 15 weeks old. He's now 4 years old. I've been pleased with the care and management there. Of course there have been problems unrelated to my child that I have known about and I do know these were immediately handled when they arose. My concerns have always been well addressed. The only current concern is the level of turnover in many of the rooms over the past 5 months. But this can be true of most facilities.
    • When my son was very young (from 3 months to 4 years), he went to Lifespan Center which (at the time, I don't know about now) was run by the Athens Montessori School. The facility is located behind the EPA building on College Station Road. My wife and I (and my son) were very pleased with the facility, staff, and the level of care.
  • First Presbyterian Weekday School, 185 E. Hancock Avenue, 549-8677, 14 months +,,
  • McPhaul Children's Center (3 positive), 220 Carlton Street, 542-4929,, Becky Olsen,, 7:30a - 5:30p, $180/wk (infants), $170/wk (1 year+), On waiting list as of 10/24,
    I heard you were interested in feedback about McPhaul. We had our daughter in there from the time she was 9 months old until she "graduated" from Pre-K. We feel very lucky to have had McPhaul available. They were great and really convenient. That being said though, they weren't perfect and we had our occasional issues but they were heads and shoulders (in our opinion) from our other options.
    McPhaul's Center on Campus. Contact Becky Olson.
    McPhaul is also GREAT but impossible to get into . . .
  • Inspiring Minds Montessori (2 positive), 150 Rutherford Street, 543-0200, 12-18 months +, Contact: 7a - 5:30p , $146/wk (average from $625/month), call ahead to get a tour.
    Two good reviews off the listserv, but I deleted them! 9
  • Trinity Lutheran Church Daycare Center (1 mixed), 2535 Jefferson Road, 546-0670 / 546-1280 (church),, Contact: 7a - 6p , $160/wk,
    Can get on waiting list for $30; 15 month wait! My daughter was previously attending Trinity Lutheran (from 18 months old through last week) and while I was happy with her care there, after she got a bit older I got more info about behavior (if she misbehaved at all) and VERY little about what was actually going on in her class curriculum wise. They also began to have rules based on a very real fear they had that the little girls might "expose themselves" or "show their panties" as early as the 2-3 yr old class. Like making them wear shorts under all skirts and dresses. Also along those lines when she was in the 3-4yrd old class, the teacher made my daughter keep her sweater on one day when she wanted to take it off because the teacher thought her sundress was "exposing her"…yea, she's 4 yrs old and she was hot (went up to 80 degrees that day). The teacher actually took me aside to tell me that she had "some problems with Rose not wanting to wear her sweater, etc…" I was not comfortable with this and was in fact very upset. Additionally, my daughter had gotten to the point that she never wanted to go "to school". She complained about it every morning over the last probably 4mo or so and would beg to not have to go. At the same time she was sad about leaving there.
  • Waseca Learning Environment (1 positive, 1 mixed), 295/580 Tallassee Road, 543-4473,, Sharon Duncan - Director, Patti - Lead infant teacher, Heather - Assistant infant teacher,, 8:30a - 5:30p, $600/mo, plus $40 diaper fee (Bummis),
    Waseca - we know and like folks who work there. Very diverse, but I think they're very disorganized as far as billing goes. They only use cloth diapers, too, and wash 'em there. I suppose that could be good, in that potty training is supposed to happen faster in cloth.
    I am a long time Waseca parent and former employee. My daughter Amelia is currently in Leslie's classs at the Farm (they have 2 locations, one a church, one a farmhouse). Amelia is VERY happy there! Leslie is a topnotch montessori teacher. Waseca's quality seems to vary from class to class, and we have definatley struggled with their organization, or lack thereof on an administrative level. That being said, I have only heard GOOD things about their infant room in particular. It is right next to Amelia's class, and seems to be clean, cheerful and organized. Both of the caretakers in that room are exceptional! If you have been put off by the director, I recommend poking your nose in the actual infant room if you havent already, and seeing for yourself.