By Purity Kimaiyo
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE
The fresh concrete sidewalks and colorful paintings on the wall invite you to a modern daycare located on 1309 Angier Avenue, which opened on Jan 3, 2011. Another Beautiful Beginnings is privately owned by Andrew Parker and his wife Dinah Parker, who have been in the daycare business for 11 years.
“We always heard from community meetings that there was need for a daycare, and considering the harsh economic situation parents are facing, we decided to open another daycare where we could offer cheaper prices,” said Andrew Parker.
The childcare center is located at a convenient spot where the bus services are available and the center has bilingual providers. It also caters for children with special needs. Security cameras are in place to ensure safety.
“Our goal is to provide a safe environment for children especially in an area depicted with violence and crime, a good start for children,” said Andrew Parker. He believes in being the forerunner of change in North East Central Durham.
Another Beautiful Beginnings childcare center has degreed teachers with experience in handling children, who infuse their ideas with the lesson plans to produce a creative curriculum. The kids’ daily activities include art and crafts, blocks, manipulatives, dramatic play, math, science and vigorous outdoor or indoor play.
The daycare adopts the food program by the government which ensures nutritious food and a balanced diet. Parker plans to initiate a program called “kids eat smart, live well” which also focuses on the children’s diet.
Dinah Parker who was an engineer for over twenty years says she always felt the urge to start a daycare. “I want to uplift the children, see them happy and safe,” she said. “It makes all the difference to see them smile.”
The budget crunch forced many Durham parents lose their childcare scholarships and when they lost their jobs and the government could no longer subsidies their payments, a lot of them could no longer afford daycare. Many parents are on the waiting list, hoping to get a voucher or some type of funding.
The Parkers also operate another childcare center at 1222 Alston Avenue, Beautiful Beginnings, which has served the community for 11-years with space for 68 children and 12 teachers. The new Another Beautiful Beginnings has enough space to accommodate 58 kids and currently has four teachers.
The older child care center is a five star facility. The new childcare has a temporary license and is considered a one star since it just opened, but it is not eligible yet for more stars. The Parkers plan on it also being a five star facility.
Shontail Cobb, who takes her three-year-old son to Beautiful Beginnings child care, and has been with the center for a year, says the daycare provides wonderful services. She believes it’s the best place for her son.
The new center charges $125 per week. They also offer a 20 percent discount to siblings.
The daycare offers both fulltime and part time services and the parent is required to complete paperwork before they are admitted. The center admits children who are six weeks to five years old. Although fulltime is recommended, the center has a soft spot for students who are in college and need temporary services to last them a semester or a given period of time.
When she is not putting a smile on the children’s faces, Dinah Parker is a member of the East Durham Children’s Initiative in Durham.
For more information call (919) 682-5292 or (919) 956-2644