Sixteen months after closing its doors due to the COVID pandemic, United Community’s Early Learning Center welcomed little learners back to their classrooms on Thursday.
“My son has been asking everyday “Mommy, when can I go back?,” one parent shared. “We’re so excited!”
It’s hard to tell who’s happier to be back — the teachers, the children, or their parents. But for Senior Director Torria Baker and her team, the joy in their faces speaks volumes.
“We’re back! We’re back to seeing the smiles or our little ones as they walk through the doors, listening to them in sing-alongs, story-time with our teachers, and embracing our families (even if it’s socially distanced embracing)”
Click here to watch a short video about the ELC’s reopening!
“I can’t tell you how happy I am to finally be back in the classroom with the children again,” Alberta Padgett adds. “It feels so good to get back to doing what I love.”
For many of these teachers, working at the Early Learning Center is more than a job — it’s a calling.
“I try to treat these children as if they were my own,” Ana Garcia who works in the Infant Suite shares. “Because I know that the most important thing I can do for them right now is to love them.
And now Parents can experience all of the excitement in real-time, from their very own smart devices — thanks to a new app, called ProCare.
ProCare is a Childcare Management software that allows teachers to provide parents with real-time updates about their child’s care.
Through ProCare, parents can learn what their child had for lunch, how long they napped for, what they learned in class, as well as share photos and videos of their child with family members and friends.
“I absolutely love this app,” Sindy Umanzor shares. Sindy has worked as the Assistant Director of the Early Learning Center for nine years.
For years, Sindy has been a smiling face at the front desk to welcome parents as they drop off their children at the Center. But this is the first year that Sindy gets to drop off her own daughter in the Early Learning Center’s Infant Suite.
“I love being able to get updates on how she’s doing, without having to leave my desk” Sindy says. “I don’t have to go across the hall to the Infant Suite to see if she’s ok. I can just check the ProCare app.”
“For me, the pandemic truly opened my eyes to what’s really important,” Torria shares. “It’s the connections, that relationship, being there for people in their weakest moments; being there to celebrate people in their greatest accomplishments — that’s what we’re all about at the Early Learning Center.”
“As a Center, we’re so thankful to everyone in our community who was there for us during this pandemic — in what was one of our weakest moments,” she adds. “Now we’re ready to go to work and pay it forward for our community!”