Turner Tots Learning Academy

by Tonya Dixon | May 10th, 2014

LaTonya Turner has a passion to care for children. Actually it’s more than a passion, as she puts it, it’s her ministry and Jesus is her boss.
The Winston Salem native turned Greensboro resident is the proud owner of Turner Tots. It’s a business that if left solely up to her would have never materialized. She didn’t like the dead end jobs she once held, but never thought herself capable of owning and operating her own business. However, while on maternity leave, years ago, she felt compelled to step out on faith and open her own business. “I didn’t want to go back to my current job,” she says. However, she heard the Lord say, “You have been doing everything you wanted to do; now you are going to do what I asked you to do.” Ten years later, she obviously chose to obey.

With much prayer, hard work, and support from her loving husband Barry, they opened the doors on May 26,2005 with eight children in her home. She has since moved the business into a free standing center and has over 38 children. Amazingly, Turner says she has never had to advertise or market herself. All of her referrals have come through word of mouth.

LaTonya Turner (Photos by Howard Gaither)

LaTonya Turner (Photos by Howard Gaither)

Turner Tots is more than just a 9 to 5 for LaTonya. She truly desires to play a part in the growth and maturation of genuinely good and respectable kids into responsible adults capable of achieving greatness. Additionally, Turner believes she can simply share the gift of love with a child who may not otherwise experience it in their home.

Turner Tots is open from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., which provides Turner the opportunity to offer 1st and 2nd shift options for parents with non-traditional schedules. Moreover, discounts are offered for multiple siblings. “I try to be flexible and work with parents with special situations and circumstances. Being a parent herself, she says she understands the different struggles parents face and especially crazy work hours.

The center follows a daily lesson plan with a hands-on approach to learning. Kids participate in weekly cultural and cooking days and take exciting field trips. Students are also encouraged to expend all of their extra energy during the once-a-month visits from the tumble bus.
Turner Tots is extremely concerned about preparedness and security, which is why the staff meets every week to review and train for emergencies. It’s something Turner says she hopes she never has to use, but recognizes it’s an absolute necessity.

The center has grown significantly over the years and Turner certainly desires to continue to grow the business and plans to expand as necessary, but contends that she has learned her lesson when it comes to making plans and trying to do what she wants to do without first seeking direction from God. She says, “God will put the right people in your path to aid in your success and if you continue to put him first he will bless it.”

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