With a new name, a new owner and updated facilities, Little Jacks Day School is ready to open its doors in the building formerly known as Pumpkin Patch Daycare. Owner Charlotte Morris is excited about getting started at 211 Morris Road just north of Diboll.
Morris has been in education for 27 years and is currently the director of the Diboll ISD Family Education Center. Although the Day School will operate at the same location as the previous business, she had to go through a complete licensing application and inspection process because she is a new owner.
“It’s just as if we were starting a completely new business,” she said. “We’re giving the building a facelift with a lot of new paint and some minor repairs, but the paperwork has been the biggest challenge.”
Morris plans to get a sign on Highway 59 at Morris Road to identify the location. The Day School will be licensed (Department of Family and Protective Services License No. 1537559) to enroll 75 children between the ages of 6 weeks and 12 years. Hours of operation will be 6:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“I’m working on developing a curriculum that will blend well with what the public schools are doing so that our children can enter Kindergarten with the right skills,” Morris said. “Much of it will be the same as what I am doing now at the Family Education Center. I will have a hand in the planning of developmental activities and will help the teachers to ensure that every child there gets the attention he or she needs.”
Karen Barkley will be the director. Morris has worked with Barkley for the past three years, and they share a desire to set high standards. They also both have the philosophy that children need to learn structure, be able to play with others and experience activities that will prepare them to go to “big school.”
There are currently four employees, but Morris hopes to add to that number with increased enrollment. At least one worker is bilingual.
The Day School will also have a summer program with a special emphasis on activities for school-age kids. It will participate in Child Care Services through Work Force Solutions, which is a way for parents to get help with child care. The Child and Adult Food Program will also be offered.
Morris said she has never looked at child care as a babysitting job. She has many hours of training on the value of those young years.
“I have gone to Little Jacks Day School after work and watched the children playing on the playground. They come back in with a little sweaty smell but boasting a big smile. And I know that is why I have chosen this path. Seeing children learn, play and grow with a smile is what it is all about.”