Arnetta’s Child Care

by Tonya Dixon | May 10th, 2012
Arnettas Child Care (Photos by Howard Gaither)

Arnetta Edwards (Photos by Howard Gaither)

Arnetta Edwards was born one of 14 children. The South Carolina native knows a thing or two about dealing with children, working together, business management and patience. Growing up in a large family, she was constantly surrounded with others. It was something that prepared her to work in her purpose. She absolutely knows, without a shadow of a doubt her purpose–its childcare. To clarify, she is not interested in just simply “watching” children; rather she is absolutely adamant about engaging, teaching and preparing children. Her theory and process is due to her own life experiences and education. Edwards is the owner, operator and lead teacher of Arnetta’s Childcare.

After graduating from her South Carolina high school, Edwards decided a move was in order and transitioned to Greensboro. She worked in the childcare industry and it wasn’t a big departure for her because she had been doing it all her life. She says, it just wasn’t called working in an industry—it was taking care of family. She says she often took care of her brothers and sisters as well as her nieces and nephews and as a result developed a passion for working with children.

Edwards has worked at several childcare centers and has substituted and performed many positions in-between teaching. There has not been any regrets and she embraces it all because she says, “they actually pushed me to my place of purpose.” After garnering a lifetime of wisdom, by faith, she stepped out on her own and in 1999 became licensed by the state of North Carolina. On January 3, 2000, she began operating her very own childcare facility. She started that first day with only two familiar faces – her grandchildren. Nonetheless, those two faces quickly grew into the maximum amount of children the state allowed. Not only did the enrollment increase, but also it has remained at a consistently high level.
“I’ve never had a problem getting children or keeping children,” she says. “I’ve been blessed not to have a large turnover. Usually the children I get at six weeks remain here until it’s time for them to go to school [kindergarten] and many for after school care.” She admits she doesn’t even advertise because she doesn’t have to. At one point, she was blessed to open a second facility, however after two years of dealing with the unstable economy and the introduction of four year olds into the school system she was forced to close that facility. Nevertheless, her drive and passion for children never faltered, she simply put more energy and resources into the original center.

Typically Arnetta’s Childcare days begin at 6:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. In the early days, the center even offered Saturday care, but she quickly realized that it didn’t leave enough time to properly manage or care for the operations aspect of the center or prepare for the upcoming week. One of the many unique aspects about Arnetta’s childcare is that the facility is completely certified and licensed for 2nd and 3rd shift care, which is extremely rare. She works extremely hard to maintain a “five star facility.” Her desire and goal everyday is to meet and enhance the educational needs of each child. The center is equipped to care for children six weeks to 12 years old, including infant, toddler, preschool and after school care. With such a wide range of age groups, she believes it is imperative to develop and maintain a consistent schedule. Each age group has its own daily schedule which includes the implementation of curriculum and themes. “We have a curriculum just like the public schools. I use the Active Learning System,” she says. “We incorporate different themes. It’s something that I want to do. It’s not required by the state. I don’t want their transition to school to be difficult. I want our four year olds to be learning what kindergarteners are learning now. We actually use some of the kindergarten lessons now with them. Usually when they get to kindergarten it’s a carry-over. Many of my four year olds are ahead.” Edwards says she has even had principals contact her and praise what she has done with the kids and even inquire about her tactics because of the advanced level of the kids.

Edwards received stellar education from Bennett College and Guilford Technical Community College. She has also attended numerous workshops, seminars, conferences and other training sessions, all to continue to be educated as well as stay up-to-date with the latest information and teaching techniques. She wants to increase her own knowledge but she relishes in the opportunity to teach and mold little lives and open their eyes to a world of knowledge and exploration.

Edwards and Arnetta’s Childcare is always looking for opportunities to grow. There are even plans to expand the current facility. She acknowledges it’s not about how big or important she can become personally, rather it’s about embracing the community and providing a service to accommodate working parents. She says she hopes to provide the services and information parents need to help them as they strive to offer an even better lifestyle for their families.

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