By Kaylee Lindenmuth
WEST MAHANOY TOWNSHIP - Tammy's Little Rascals, a daycare center, recently opened along the Frackville-Morea Highway, and on Thursday, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held.
The center, located at 101 Fireman's Road in West Mahanoy Township, is a family effort, owned by Tammy L. Harris, 47, of Hegins, with daughter Jessie Gill serving as director.
"We are a fully-staffed, fully-serviced child daycare center," Harris said. "We have 26 very highly qualified staff on-call at all times."
According to Harris, the center serves the Mahanoy Area, North Schuylkill, and Shenandoah Valley School Districts.
"We offer from six-weeks through the age of 14. Each area is age appropriate. Infants have one corner of the building, we have our pod area, which houses our two-to-young-threes, and then we also have our pre-K and preschool area, as well, and it's gradually coming through the building, so the transition is easier," Harris said.
The building, while currently open and accepting enrollment, is still a work-in-progress, according to Harris, as plans are in the works to add an outdoor play area and windows for another area of the building.
"We're going to be doing some more remodeling here. We're going to be opening up the Pre-K room to a nice, bright area like our preschool room is. We are also going to be adding on a full, outside play area, for each of the age groups, so all of them can go outside and enjoy some sunshine," Harris said. "We're also going to be adding on a lounge area for the before and after school children, so that they can sit there and relax after school."
The center's operating hours are from 5:30am to 11:30pm, as it offers second-shift childcare as well, which, according to Harris, is open.
"We don't have enrollments for that time right now, but if one should come about, we would be able to offer until 11:30 at night," Harris said.
"Our staff, we all have our certificates. We also have all of our credentials, which is our fingerprints, our clearances and things like that," Harris said. "We also are CPR, Fire Safety, and First Aid certified, and not just a couple of them, all of us are."
According to Harris, the building is a "modern, clean facility," with safety features such as a fire alarm system connected to the county 911 center, and fire exits from each classroom.
The single-story facility also features a full kitchen, and has handicap-accessible parking as well.
Harris also noted: "All of our food is cooked on site, we do not have it transported it. We do offer the CCIS program, which is Childcare Information Services. It's an income based program, and we are enrolled in that, as well as Keystone Stars, and we are also enrolling in the CACFP Food Program for the state of Pennsylvania."
The center charges $27 a day for full-time care, $18 for before and after school care, and $125 a week for their summer camp.
According to Harris, the center has capacity for 92 children.
"Right now, I think we have 62 on board," Harris said.
"We're a modern, clean facility looking to become a staple for the community, and we look forward to giving back to the community. We just want to grow, we want to be that type of facility that everyone wants to be like," Harris concluded.