Raising the Bar: Highland Learning Center Earns Five Star Rating

Dedication and Determination: Five Stars Gained

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

Child Care Providers are heroes. We are proud to spotlight Highland Learning Center.

Congratulations Highland Learning Center for Achieving Five Stars!

Diana Bunton, Director, Highland Learning Center, a Five Star Center in Fayetteville.

Mrs. Diana, started her career as a young mother wanting a job where she could afford childcare and still be there for her daughter. Working in child care provided her the opportunity to work and make a living while having her daughter with her every day. Diana has been an assistant teacher, teacher, assistant director, and director. Working in different positions has given her a greater understanding of what each job entails. Because of her knowledge, skills, and experience; Mrs. Diana has contributed to Highland Learning Center achieving their 5-Star Rated License! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Highland Learning Center (HLC) strives to provide an environment that is safe, caring, and welcoming not only to children, but also to the caregivers. It’s extremely important that parents feel 100% comfortable when they walk through the door. Children spend a good part of their day at the facility, and HLC fosters a strong partnership with families.

Mrs. Diana’s inspiration comes from watching growth in others be it teacher or child. It’s extremely inspiring when they figure things out that they may not have thought they were capable of accomplishing.

What makes Highland Learning Center unique? HLC is an outreach ministry of Highland Presbyterian Church. They have chapel, music, and participate in many of the church’s events for children. Having the church’s support and backing is a wonderful partnership that helps provide the best care for children.

Favorite Quote: “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it” -Lou Holtz

Encouragement/Advice for Other Providers:  Child care has become increasingly difficult, especially since COVID. There are times when you feel defeated and everything is working against you. I am a firm believer in accountability and pushing individuals to give their best, but I also acknowledge all accomplishments small and big. Nothing would be possible without HLC’s amazing teachers and staff. I look for opportunities to show appreciation and give the recognition they deserve. Doing so, helps promote team effort and is vital to HLC thriving. Not every day is perfect, but we all lean on each other and push forward with the same goals in mind. Teamwork!!

Learn more about Highland Learning Center.

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

Congratulations Tabra’s Child Care for Achieving Five Stars!

Tabra’s Child Care, owned and operated by Tabra Wesley, is a Five Star family child care home located in Stoney Point subdivision of Fayetteville. 

Mrs. Tabra has been in business for 20 years, dedicating her time to care for young children, nurture young hearts, educate young minds, promote self-reliance, and build strength to believe in one’s self. Mrs. Tabra is currently working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. With all she has accomplished, Mrs. Tabra has put in the hard work to see her FCCH business achieve a 5-Star Rated License! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

In 2002, Mrs. Tabra was able to achieve her dream of operating her own child care business.  A relative who owned a successful child care business decided to retire and saw the ambitions, goals, and qualifications of Mrs. Tabra.  Without any hesitation, when asked if she was interested in acquiring the child care business, she immediately said yes!  Twenty years later, she’s still building, working, and thankful for the opportunity to achieve her dream. Mrs. Tabra believes every child deserves the chance to succeed in life: children with special needs, challenging behaviors, and/or disabilities.  According to Mrs. Tabra, she wants to be a “pillow of support” for parents who do not have a support system.  She believes we all need to work together as a village to raise children that will succeed in life.

Mrs. Tabra relies on communication with parents. Her parents have expressed their appreciation of the care their children receive. The compliments are an indication of her accomplishments and making a difference in both the lives of children and families. The biggest achievement is shown in the smiles of the children as they walk through her door. 

Favorite Quote: “You do not have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

Encouragement/Advice for Other Providers:  Welcome each child with an open mind, recognizing each child’s needs, abilities, and weaknesses.

Goals:

  • She wants to continue providing the best care for all children, helping them grow into unique individuals. 
  • Completing her Bachelor’s Degree.

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! 

Celebrating 25 Years: Never Give Up

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.

Having a Heart for Children: Makes a Lasting Impact

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.

Resiliency Empowers

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.

Enhancing Development One Child At A Time

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

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

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

Child Care Success: Operate As A Family