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Kiddie Kare will never be forgotten
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Editor, Words cannot express my love and gratitude to Laverne Young and the staff of Kiddie Kare Pre-K and Learning Center for taking care of my baby girl for the past four years. I enrolled my daughter Eva into Kiddie Kare at age 1. She started in the infant room and each year “graduated” to a new classroom. All of her caregivers were loving and attentive, making it easier to leave my child while I worked a full-time job. It also made a world of difference knowing I could talk to Ms. Laverne about any questions or concerns that I had — and she truly listened.
Everyone there grew to know Eva’s personality and nuances and silly quirks. I am not native to Hinesville so I considered Kiddie Kare my local extended family. This year Eva was in Pre-K — the “senior class.” She ran the halls like she owned them! Every afternoon when I picked her up, it took a full 10 minutes for her to announce her departure and hug goodbye to each of her caregivers, present and past.
That is why I will never forget the night of Sunday, March 28, when I saw the 11 o’clock news report that Kiddie Kare was engulfed in a terrible fire. My heart sank and my stomach turned to stone. I wept in grief over the loss, not just my own but for Ms. Laverne’s, her staff’s, the other parents and children. What was going to happen? And how would Eva handle the news?
I woke the next morning, having barely slept, dreading the search for a new day care. But then I received a phone call with amazing news… Joyce West from Hinesville Day Care had stepped in to “adopt” the children of Kiddie Kare. Eva’s Pre-K class was going to be re-created at a new location, with the same classmates and the same great teacher, Ms. Dascia! In addition, Liberty County Pre-K graciously donated the furniture and supplies to help set up the classroom. The outpouring of support purely in the interest of the children was truly incredible. It minimized the stress on the kids and the parents. A big thank you to Ms. Joyce and her staff for their tireless efforts to transition the children in a comforting, positive atmosphere. I know it was not easy to absorb so many kids overnight — literally!
You never know what will happen from one day to the next. You can wake up one morning and your world is turned upside down. But life goes on and we make the best of it. Kids are pretty resilient and Eva seems to be at home in her new school. I am also adapting to the new routine, but I will forever have a special place in my heart for the ladies who cared for my baby girl during her early years.
While I do hope Ms. Laverne decides to rebuild, that decision is for her to make. This I can promise: if Kiddie Kare ever re-opens for business, I will be the first parent in line.

— Laura Troutman

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