OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — They call it the perfect storm. The owners of a new childcare center say COVID highlighted the need for a safe, structured place for kids to go while their parents worked. On top of that, there was a building for sale in the perfect location. That was all two Omaha educators needed to open a new center.
It's just what Dr. Danita Webb and Beverly Tate had in mind when they dreamed of owning their own childcare center.
"We always had a desire to offer an early learning center that would cater to the educational needs of our children," Tate said.
Their dream became a reality less than a year ago.
"We saw that this building was for sale in the middle of the North Omaha community, and we knew it was an opportunity to provide access to our children who need it most," Webb stated.
"We didn't want to offer something where our children are just being babysat all day. We really wanted to give them a strong foundation to prepare for kindergarten," Tate added.
Kids at Gifted Minds Learning Center — learn.
Both owners are educators and know the importance of a good start.
"The research shows that from birth to five years old is the precious years where you want to make sure that that educational background is there to help them be successful once they move on to their school-aged years. So that birth to five is the years, we want to really pour into them to let them thrive," Webb explained.
The preschool students are counting in English and Spanish and mastering their shapes and colors, but reading is the focus.
"By third grade if students are behind, chances are they'll remain behind. So, we really wanted to make sure we're exposing our children at infant ages to literacy and reading to them and just have then grow a passion for reading because it's so important," Tate said.
When Gifted Minds Learning Center opened in December, there were two students. Now there are 26 and they're already seeing the difference they're making.
"The biggest thing that we hear is just it's like family. That's what we really appreciate and so near and dear to our hearts are the success stories. We have one child who came here not talking and now he won't stop talking," Webb chuckled.
That child is MyShawn.
His uncle brings him to Gifted Minds every day.
"The closer we get to the place, the more he gets excited," Kenneth Mitchell shared.
He says MyShawn is a different person now.
"I've witnessed it. I've seen the interacting of the staff and with the other kids and it's a total difference than when I first brought him," he explained.
Reporter: How would you rate the experience he's having here?
Mitchell: From 1 to 10 with one being the lowest and 10 being the highest, an 11.
For parents who think they can't afford the level of care at Gifted Minds, think again.
"Here at Gifted Minds Learning Center, we make it affordable, and we will make sure that all barriers are removed so that your child can receive quality early learning care, Webb explained.
"I think any parent who really wants to see their child grow academically, socially, emotionally, and a place where their child can be loved and cared for - this is the center for you," Tate added.
Gifted Minds is open seven days a week. The center takes children from six weeks old to 12 years old. It also provides transportation to some surrounding schools. Gifted Minds is currently enrolling toddlers and preschoolers. For more information, go to giftedmindslearningcenter.com. Gifted minds is one of the finalists for the Midlands African Chamber's Pitch Black Competition.