Children’s Playzone

Children At Play: Serious Learning

Celebrating 25 Years: Never Give Up

Having a Heart for Children: Makes a Lasting Impact

Resiliency Empowers

Enhancing Development One Child At A Time

Leadership Core Values: Respect, Compassion, Empathy, and Understanding

Child Care Success: Operate As A Family

Raising Their Rating = Positive Outcomes for Children Served

Family Engagement: Key Component of Child Care Excellence

Child Care Providers are heroes. We are proud to spotlight Children’s Playzone

Tonya Davis is the owner of Children’s Playzone a Child Care Home in Fayetteville, NC. After working at another facility, Tonya realized there was a need for more family child care homes. Because of her love for children and teaching, she started planning her own family child care home in December 2001 and opened her business in March 2002.

Tonya knew there was a need, met the need, and continues to provide for the needs of children and families. Additionally, Tonya wants to publicly recognize her appreciation for Lucretia Campbell for working alongside her 15+ years.  She thanks Lucretia for her service and dedication to the children, families, and the industry at large.

Tonya’s mission is to give the best care and make sure children know they are loved no matter what they may be doing or experiencing. She achieves her mission through giving love and teaching children the basics of learning. Her inspiration comes from the love she receives from the children and parents. Tonya knows she’s making a difference in the lives of both children and families. This is evident when family and friends who had children previously in Tonya’s care recommends her to others, because of the care she provided. It has been a continuous cycle of support.

Tonya’s words of encouragement to other providers: “I know every day isn’t an easy day, but I promise you it’s always worth it in the end. So, keep doing what you do, the babies need us!”

Favorite Quote: “The hands of our future lies in our children so let’s fill them with the tools needed to be successful.”

Early Education Professionals are Heroes. We are proud to spotlight Savannah’s Smiles Family Childcare

Savannah Yeager is the owner of Savannah’s Smiles Family Childcare located in Fayetteville NC. She opened in July 2021 with her temporary license, and six months later she was awarded her 5-star license. This is what you call dedicated and goal-driven. REMARKABLE!!!

Savannah knew that she would one day open her own family child care working with young children. After working for Head Start since 2017 in northwest TN, Savannah was laid off. Shocked that she had been laid off and trying to decide what to do next, God opened a door of opportunity. It was time for her to do the job she dreamed of. She knew as a child what she would name her business, and her business logo is made from her daughter’s handprint and past children’s drawings that were given to her. Savannah’s mission is how she always perceived early childhood education to look like: partnering and becoming part of families’ lives through support, advocacy, learning, and teaching. Additionally, Savannah went to college and now holds an Associate’s and Bachelors’s degree in Early Childhood Education.

Savannah’s words of encouragement: “Keep your head up, early childhood careers can be hard but look for the little and simple moments with the children, that’s what keeps me going.” 

Favorite quote: “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood” Fred Rogers.

Learn more about Savannah’s Smiles Family Childcare.

Child Care Providers are heroes. We are proud to spotlight Wee-Wonders Christian Daycare, LLC.

Wanda Wood Teets is the Owner/Director of Wee-Wonders Christian Daycare, LLC in Stedman, NC. Her career in child care began in 1990 taking care of a neighbor’s newborn son. Her neighbor was a teacher which led to other teachers and friends inquiring about Wanda’s services. As a result, Wanda opened a Family Child Care Home in 1991. She provided care in her home for six years before recognizing the need for a commercial child care facility on the east side of Fayetteville. Wanda applied for an SBA Loan and opened Wee-Wonders Christian Daycare (Child Care Center) on April 1, 1997. Celebrating 25 years of operation this year! 

When Wanda opened the center she only had the NC Child Care Credential. In 2002, she decided to further her education when her center was selected to participate in More-at-Four (now NC Pre-K). She started taking classes at FTCC in 2005 and completed her Bachelors in Early Childhood Education on December 11, 2021. Wanda graduated Cum Laude at the age of 62. It wasn’t an easy journey, but it was well worth it in the end. Wanda learned more than she thought possible. She is better equipped to assist her teachers to be more compassionate and see each child as a unique individual. Mrs. Wanda is the definition of commitment, passion, perseverance, and resilience.  

Wanda’s words of encouragement: “Never give up, perseverance is the answer. Life is a “Journey”. What’s your journey? 

Favorite quote: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

To Learn More About: Wee-Wonders Christian Daycare, LLC

Child Care Providers are heroes. We are proud to spotlight Hearts for Children Childcare and Learning Center.

Cornelia Burke, Owner/Operator of Hearts for Children Childcare and Learning Center. She opened the center in September 2021 after initially opening her first child care business as a Family Child Care Home in June 2018. Her love for children led her to grow from serving up to eight children in her home to serving 105 children per shift operating 24 hours in her center. Prior to going into the child care business, Cornelia owned ABC’s & 123’s Tutoring Service.  She has worked for over 20 years with children in different capacities.

After Cornelia’s 16+ years in child care, she believes, “when you have a heart for children and you see them struggling with the basics of what they need to take themselves to the next level your heart hurts.” In 2019, Cornelia received the “Shining Star Champion” award from the Partnership for Children. This exemplifies the perseverance Cornelia has displayed by serving children and her community. Cornelia definitely has a heart for children, and her work continues to shine!

Early Education Professionals are heroes. We are proud to spotlight Tutoring House

Shirley J. B. Grisset is the owner/operator of Tutoring House LLC, a 5-Star family child care home in Fayetteville. Shirley opened her business in 2012 after retiring from working 29 years with Cumberland County Schools as a business education teacher. The mission of the Tutoring House is to offer services, programming, and learning sessions that promote student success in a collaborative and inclusive environment. The ultimate goal is to empower students as they develop resiliency and successful habits that will help them develop into star scholars. Shirley has a special focus on the underserved and socioeconomically disadvantaged.

Shirley believes that education is the key that opens many doors. Her inspiration is summed up by two famous adages: 

People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. ~Theodore Roosevelt

Tell me and I may forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. ~Benjamin Franklin.

This kind of inspiration led to offering tutoring services online where students are paired with tutors in one-on-one videoconferencing sessions. Shirley encourages other providers to seek to educate “the whole child”. Doing so addresses all areas of need: cognitive, mental, physical, and emotional. Addressing all will yield success for all (student, teacher, family, and community).

For more information about the Tutoring House.

Early Education Professionals are Heroes. We are proud to spotlight Focus Pointe Learning Academy.

Viranda Deshields (Mrs. V) is the owner of Focus Pointe Learning Academy in Fayetteville. Her background includes working with special needs children and teaching kindergarten. As a teacher, working with children and families gave Viranda a lot of joy, but she felt she could make a greater impact as a private provider. This was proven when she opened a school-age program in 2010. Nine years later, in November 2019, she opened Focus Pointe Learning Academy.

Focus Pointe Learning Academy’s mission is to provide a safe, loving, and nurturing environment that enhances the development of each child. Viranda and her staff are helping to teach parents how to teach their own children. Together they see the growth of the children and recognize that their collective influence has shaped that growth. They are helping to shape model citizens of the world.

Encouragement and wisdom from Viranda include: 

Child care is an absolutely rewarding business because you have the opportunity to help so many children grow and learn.

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Frederick Douglas

To learn more about Focus Pointe Learning Academy.

Early Education Professionals are heroes. We are proud to spotlight The Sunshine House, Inc. #144.

Martinique McLaughlin, is the Director of The Sunshine House, Inc. #144, a Four-Star facility in Fayetteville.
Martinique began her child care career in 2009 on Fort Bragg as an Administrative Assistant. She became
fascinated by the impact teachers have on children, so she went to school to get her child care credentials.
She continued to take classes and ultimately worked toward her Bachelor’s Degree. Martinique also
worked part-time at the Partnership for Children of Cumberland County.

McLaughlin began her work at The Sunshine House in May 2018 and has been instrumental in growing
three facilities in Fayetteville. The families praise Martinique for her kindness, professionalism, and passion for child care. They credit her and the teachers for providing a safe environment for their children to grow and thrive. Martinique leads according to her core values of respect, compassion, empathy, and understanding. She strives to be the director she never had and to grow her staff.

Words of encouragement from Martinique include:

  • Stay the course, this career is not for the weak
  • Stay encouraged and focused
  • Always remember to reach your hand back down and grow your team
  • A true leader turns around and has people following

Her mission is to “touch the lives of children and families one day at a time,
one family at a time, and one child at a time”
Martinique McLaughlin

Learn more about the Early Care and Educational Professionals and Program at The Sunshine House, Inc. #144

Early Education Professionals are heroes. We are proud to spotlight Carpenter’s Child Care.

Tammy Carpenter is the owner of Carpenter’s Child Care, a Five-Star family child care home in Fayetteville. Tammy opened her business in 2005. In 2015, she graduated with honors from FTCC with an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Tammy became a child care provider because she wanted to be home with her own children and provide other children a safe place to be while away from their families. Her goal is to build trust with families by being professional, dependable, honest, and caring for their children the same way she cares for her own.

The first years of a child’s life are the most important, and Tammy recognizes that parents are the first and most important teachers in a child’s life. Many of Tammy’s families stay long-term, as long as 16 years, and often refer Tammy to their family and friends. Family engagement is important at Carpenter’s Child Care, and Tammy works collaboratively with the families to provide the best possible learning experiences and environment for the children. She says, “Communication is Key”. They operate as a family, and they truly care for each other. Tammy loves what she does, and she could not imagine doing anything else.

Words of encouragement from Tammy include

Learn more about the Early Care and Educational Professionals and Program at Carpenter’s Child Care

Early Education Professionals are heroes. We are proud to spotlight Lil People’s Childcare, Family Child Care Home.

Lil People’s Childcare, Family Child Care Home, opened February 2021 in Raeford, NC. Shawna McArthur is the owner/operator. Previously, Shawna worked at Forever Kids Preschool and Daycare in Raeford for 20 years. Shawna is fortunate to have a few local child care operators mentor her, including her mother Linda Locklear (owner of Kids of Character in Raeford).  Since opening, parents have been very happy with Shawna’s interactions with the children. They have noticed growth in their children in the areas of language and development over a short amount of time.

Through technical assistance received by Partnership for Children of Cumberland County on the Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale, Shawna has set goals to make improvements in her program. Some of the improvements include promoting diversity, provisions for comfort, and expansion of the outdoor learning environment for active physical play. Shawna’s ultimate goal is to move from her current 4-star rating to a 5-star.

Learn more about the Early Care and Educational Professionals and Program at Lil People’s Childcare, Family Child Care Home.

Early Education Professionals are heroes. We are proud to spotlight Cynthia’s Creative Kids Corner.

Cynthia Cockerham Wright, owner of Cynthia’s Creative Kids Corner, a child care center in Raeford. As a mother, Cynthia was very engaged in her children’s lives, and her house was a gathering place for many other children. As a result, Cynthia’s oldest son suggested that she open a child care facility. In June 2004, Cynthia became a child care owner licensed on Fort Bragg.

Family Engagement is a huge component of Cynthia’s Creative Kids Corner. Activities include Cynthia attending Saturday morning T-ball games, Fire Safety Community Days, and Community Fun Days. Cynthia is a natural caregiver, and her love for children is undeniable. She is most happy when the children are happy. Cynthia also credits her staff for the excellent care the children receive and the continual success of the business. Cynthia’s words of encouragement and wisdom include:

Lead by example

Incorporate families into your program

Invest money and resources into your business for the children

Build lasting relationships.

Learn more about the Early Care and Educational Professionals and Program at Cynthia’s Creative Kids Corner.