HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Child care can be really expensive. One woman in Huntsville is providing an affordable option for parents. It’s so affordable, sometimes it doesn`t cost parents anything.
The cost is free for those in several special categories like veterans that are seeking employment and parents involved in domestic violence situations. The maximum charge at the Academy for Learning and Character Development is $65 a week. The non-profit accepts children starting at six weeks to 12 years old.
“Today’s Learners, Tomorrow’s Leaders” is the motto at the Academy for Learning and Character Development on Telstar Circle SW in Huntsville. For 17 years, Executive Director Dr. Sylvia Collins has been caring for kids.
“We just surround them in love,” says Collins. “It’s such a loving environment.”
It’s also an environment where kids are being brought up to exceed expectations.
“Everything our children learn, they learn bilingually,” explains Collins. “They learn the alphabet, how to count and their colors in English and Spanish at the same time.”
Collins says that really boosts they’re confidence levels.
“You’ll notice that the kids will speak to, perform for, talk to, question you,” jokes Collins. “They’ll interview you.”
The goal is to give as many parents access to a good education early in their child’s life.
“We’ve taken advantage of children’s early learning ability,” says Collins. “All the longitudinal research says that those first five years are the most important and we’re capitalizing on that.”
With a little capital of our own, we surprised Collins with $319.
“Whoa! Thank you!” was her response.
Collins says the cash will go a long way.
“Let me think of how many different ways I can stretch it,” ponders Collins. “We’ve gotten to be experts at stretching it.”
Dr. Collins says she’ll likely use some of the money toward a Halloween event for the kids.