Treasured Kids Childcare moves to Attalla

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By Kaitlin Hoskins, News Editor

Attalla’s newest daycare facility — Treasured Kids Childcare — is a dream several years in the making.

Although Treasured Kids is not a new concept, the daycare now has a new location. The facility was previously opened in Rainbow City in August 2021. After careful consideration, Marissa Fleming, Treasured Kids owner and director, decided that moving to Attalla was the best decision. The doors officially opened at the new building on April 1.

The move was beneficial in several ways, according to Fleming. She now owned a building and could make changes as necessary, the daycare could grow into the much larger space and add new programs, and the facility would now be located near a larger school (Attalla Elementary School) and would benefit more parents.

Fleming, a mother of two with a third on the way, always knew she wanted to work with children. She said the dream was planted in her years ago, before she was a wife and mother. She was just waiting for the right time.

“It was right after COVID started,” Fleming said. “I was praying about my dream to open a daycare. I had been praying for years. And then one day that feeling of ‘not yet’ turned into ‘now is the time, let’s do it’. So, we started looking for a building and getting everything put together.”

Treasured Kids is now in its third year of operating as a fully licensed daycare facility. While there are many options for parents in Etowah County, Fleming believes her facility stands out because it is open to children of all needs. The name “Treasured Kids” is part of that belief. She believes that “every child is a treasure.”

“Most daycares will not take children who are not potty-trained at a certain age,” Fleming said. “We will. We take children with physical and emotional needs… We personalize our program to meet the children where they are and make sure their needs are met. Every child deserves that. Parents deserve it. They deserve knowing their child is safe and loved and cared for.”

Fleming said the most difficult part of running a daycare facility is finding staff members who meet her high standards.

“Finding people who care about children and meet the expectations you have for them is difficult,” Fleming said. “A lot of people think they want to work in daycare, but they when they actually get in with the children, they realize it is not as easy as they thought it was. These children need a lot from us every day and being able to emotionally handle that is difficult and it isn’t for everyone. We all have bad days, but putting those bad days aside and being there for the kids is important. It is necessary.”

Fleming is still looking for high quality employees to add to her facility so programs can expand. She hopes to one day offer after-school care for older children, as well as a cooperative program with local homeschool academies.

“We do still have openings. Even if you don’t have training, I am still interested in interviewing you. We can do the training.”

Fleming has degrees in child development and elementary education. To be a director of a licensed childcare facility, you have to have a degree in child development and go through 120 hours of trainings, according to Fleming.

Fleming took that training into account when developing the curriculum at Treasured Kids. The curriculum is a play-based program where children learn through fun activities instead of traditional worksheets and lessons.

“We feel like having fun and learning through play is the best way for children to learn,” Fleming said. “Everything from ABCs, letters, shapes, numbers… but the biggest thing children learn at this age is how to interact with other people. They learn manners and sharing. They learn how to be kind. That is the biggest thing we can learn at this age, because that goes with you all throughout your life.”

As part of the play-based approach, children are currently learning about life cycles with plants, butterflies, frogs and chickens. In the fall, the students will learn about the weather with a visit from James Spann. According to Fleming, the facility is going to start offering field trips as well.

Organizing all the programs and being at the facility every day of the work week may sound like too much for some, but for Fleming, she loves what she does.

“I couldn’t do it without a great support system,” Fleming said. “It is hard. It is. But if I was doing everything on my own, it wouldn’t be possible. But my husband is there for me and helps me at home and at the daycare. He helps cut the grass and he does anything that may pop up. He is like a handyman — he’s always here. Then of course, family showing up and helping with anything I ever need. I have a great support system.”

The most rewarding part of all that hard work is when the kids start growing up, Fleming said.

“Getting to witness so many firsts for these children is special,” Fleming said. “Their first steps, their first little coos. Then watching them grow into who they are. It is the most rewarding part of it all.”

To help facilitate the growth and development of as many children as possible in the area, Treasured Kids is on the approved list of facilities that qualify for childcare subsidies. Those subsidies help parents afford childcare with assistance from the Department of Human Resources (DHR).

Treasured Kids currently cares for children as young as six weeks old and is located at 615 Gaines Street in Attalla. The facility shares an access road with Attalla Elementary School.

For more information on Treasured Kids Childcare, visit the Facebook page, Facebook.com/treasuredkids, or call 256-553-1070.

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