The Sheltering Arms
Rating: 4 stars 1 review
Issues: Children & Youth, Education
Location: 385 Centennial Olympic Park Dr Nw Atlanta GA 30313 USA
Results: Since 1888, Sheltering Arms has provided child care for almost 50,000 children which allowed their parents to work and provide for their families. Early education based on the most current research prepares children to succeed in school. On average, children meet or exceed 95% or more of developmental milestones and school readiness criteria.
Target demographics: 90% of those served are low-income working families. 60% of families are headed by a single parent. Sheltering Arms enrolls children from ages 6 weeks to 5 years old, with summer camp and afterschool for children through age 8.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 15,000 (children and parents enrolled at Sheltering Arms centers, and trainees participating in the Sheltering Arms Georgia Training Institute)
Geographic areas served: Metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. (Counties: Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett)
Programs: Each day, Sheltering Arms serves almost 2500 children, ages 0-8, and their families in 16 early education centers in metro Atlanta. Centers meet NAEYC-accreditation standards, and provide comprehensive services for children, families, and neighborhoods. The Sheltering Arms Georgia Training Institute trains and credentials almost 6,000 early childhood and family support professionals each year.
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1 person found this review helpful
Our child has attended the Sheltering Arms East Point location on Mulberry for four years. We are truly impressed with the ability that he and his classmates demonstrate. Many children in his classes have consistently shown skills and knowledge above their grade level.
However, revolving-door management and inconsistent application of center policies, poor written communication to parents and teachers / administrators pointing fingers at each other, at center management and at Sheltering Arms' upper management when parents voice complaints or ask for clarification all hold this center back.
It cannot be denied that the teachers at this facility go above and beyond on a regular basis. The bright kids are challenged in a positive way and children with remedial needs are given great, specific attention. If the management portion of the equation could be half as effective as the teaching part, this center would truly be amazing.
The center also holds itself back by catering almost solely to families on public assistance. Parents are routinely reminded to be involved in the parent organization, but the speakers and topics of these meetings are 95% or more geared towards getting indigent divorced parents to pay child support, how to apply for medicaid, EBT, WIC, how to apply for low cost housing, how to avoid foreclosure, etc meaning that the parents who pay tuition rarely have any relevant content at these meetings, which require most working parents to leave their paying jobs in order to attend.
As it is, I stopped becoming a vocal cheerleader for the East Point facility over a year ago. The teachers on the whole are truly committed, but the management routinely hinders their effectiveness.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
...shake up the management in a big way to move them out of their collective comfort zone. The old-timers have gone through the motions so many times that they have lost sight of who they are there to serve. The revolving door directors say "Come to me with any concerns," but when parents do, the admins below the director pull parents aside to say "you don't need to bring them in on this, let's just handle things quietly." This is our experience and the experience of other parents we talk to
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