Pleasant Hill Daycare held an open house on Sunday in honor of the grand opening of its new facility. The halls were filled with current and past students and family members, staff, members of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, and community members celebrating the occasion.
The construction on the building began last May. “It really went up fast,” said Phyllis Reed, director, noting that move in began on Dec. 15. Students were welcomed in to the new building on Jan. 4.
Reed explained the new building will increase the capacity to serve the community by more than 100 more children. “We went from 75 to 125 on the very first day,” said Reed, adding they are adding more students in stages to keep from overwhelming the staff. A waiting list still holds names, ready for the next phase.
Five new staff members were hired before the move, allowing for a smooth transition with training and setting up the new rooms. Reed expects to hire an additional four staff members by the end of February.
“The biggest thing for me is they now each have their own classrooms,” said Reed, explaining the teachers used to share a large room with movable room dividers.
The new facility also boasts added technology to improve safety standards. Cameras have been installed in each of the 14 rooms, as well as the playground and hallways, totaling 30 cameras which can be monitored in the office and record daily activity. A new security system uses thumb swipes to enter the building. “It’s nice because you can share numbers with people, but you can’t share your thumb,” said Reed.
The daycare’s head cook, James Macemore, shared improvements in the kitchen. The new kitchen is four times the size, with commercial equipment, four ovens and larger pantries. “It’s capable of cooking more food in less time,” said Macemore, explaining the daycare provides two snacks and a full meal to all the students every day.
The daycare has a close relationship with Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. “When we opened the doors on Monday there were about 15 volunteers here to help,” said Reed. Bible songs and curriculum are used daily.
The daycare is financially self-sufficient. Keeping a close watch on their funds and saving where they could, the daycare qualified for a mortgage. “We have never done any fundraisers,” said Reed.
“I make a point of trying to know as much as I can about each child,” said Reed, explaining she and her staff have formed tight relationships with each child they have worked with in her 22 years at Pleasant Hill Daycare.
Reed expects more spots to open in February. Interested families are welcome to add their name to the waiting list. The cost for infants and toddlers is $110 per week; for 2 to 5 years is $105 per week. Located at 650 N.C. Highway 268 W. in Elkin, Pleasant Hill Daycare can be contacted at 336-258-8070.
Diane Blakemore may be reached at 336-368-2222 or on Twitter @PilotReporter.