GLEN ROSE – A dream that began with a little imagination and a desire to care for the children of Somervell County is now a little over a year old. The Little Tigers Learning Center is succeeding – and that may be an understatement.
When Karolee Wolfe and Tad and Meaghan Oates decided to embark on the endeavor of starting LTLC, they settled on renting a 5,400-square foot building just off of US Hwy 67 in Glen Rose, it was a mere shell of a daycare that was dire need of a facelift. So on Sept. 24, 2014, the team, along with director, Sarah Lavett, teacher, Kelsi Crisp and others went to work.
“It was a daycare before and was even a daycare in the 70’s and 80’s, but it needed a renovation,” Meaghan Oates said. “We had contractors for half of it, Somervell Tile and Floor for some of it and then the staff painted.”
“There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” Lavett added.
The daycare currently serves two purposes for its children that range in age from six weeks to 12 years. For the younger kids – infants, toddlers and pre-kindergarten – the daycare serves as full-fledged daycare with an entire curriculum centered on their development. The older kids – or “schoolers” – enrolled at Little Tigers Learning Center, and their parents, utilize the center as an afterschool daycare.
“We have curriculum that we use, like this week we are using creepy crawler stations,” Oates said. “But we normally use centers, teach ABC’s, and have lots of outside play and field trips for the older kids.”
“After school, there is a lot of homework help and during the summer we do plenty of water activities,” Oates added.
However, the majority of outdoor activities are on hold after the center’s jungle gym was damaged in the recent storm, according to Oates.
“Lots of our stuff outside got damaged in the hail storm,” she said. “The plastic has holes in it and it is just no longer safe. But we have a new jungle gym system ordered.”
Oates was the first to admit that after the renovation, learning the business side of the daycare was the toughest obstacle to tackle. But since she and her staff have gotten that portion of the day care wrangled in, safety, cleanliness and the 55-some-odd kids are the absolute, unquestioned top-priority.
“The kids are awesome,” Oates said. “They are so much fun. Hearing their weird, quirky comments is awesome. If you’re having a bad day, they can definitely brighten it in a hurry.”
The center, located at 1073 CR 1001, operates daily from 5:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., offers families to pay by the week and can work with low income or foster care families. More information can be found on the Little Tigers Learning Center’s Facebook page, which boasts 12 reviews – all of which are five stars.