Mamas, we’d like to introduce you to Erin Tarver, owner of Bright Haven Christian Learning Center.
Bright Haven is a NWA Mom Prom sponsor and we asked Erin to answer a few questions for us. Thanks for supporting the Mom Prom, Erin, and for answering these questions about your school!
Q: How long has Bright Haven been serving families in NWA?
We opened in the Fall of 2009.
Q: What prompted you to start the school?
I was a mother who simply wanted the best for my son. I had tried multiple places and could not find true quality of care.
I’ve always had a passion for children, so I decided to solve my own problem and Bright Haven was birthed! I was committed to not having a daycare, but rather an educational center that approached learning in a non-traditional way.
Instead, we allow the children to learn the way they are designed to learn…through PLAY and conversation!!!
Q: Tell us about your family:
I have six children ranging in age from 21 years to 3 years.
My husband is a health educator and head basketball coach at Southwest Junior High. My oldest children are our nieces that we assumed guardianship of 13 years ago…so we grew as a family very quickly!
My oldest graduates from the Sam Walton college of business next month! We truly are a family business and I believe my children have learned a lot about life, serving others and finding joy in the journey as a result of Bright Haven.
Q: What do your own kids think about Bright Haven? 🙂
Well, they are quite proud of it!! My oldest three have worked here in some capacity. We will see what the youngest three decide later down the road.
Q: What ages do you teach?
6 weeks through 5 years of age.
Q: How are classes tailored for certain ages?
We utilize Developmentally Appropriate Practice (see NAEYC for specifics) which includes center-based learning. We also utilize Conscious Discipline to help children with self-regulation and problem-solving skills (see consciousdiscipline.com for more info)
Q: And you have video cameras, right? Can parents tune in to their child’s classroom anytime?
Q: What makes Bright Haven stand out to parents when they’re looking for a great place for their infants/toddlers or preschoolers?
We are truly a School Family where we are “all in this together”. No matter what classroom a child is in, all of the staff will know them by name.
Parents and staff work together as a community to foster a tailor-made early childhood experience for each child. Everyone is unique and has a gift to share with the world. We help them discover that gift, develop it and honor it! Children and staff alike.
Q: What is the teacher to student ratio?
Infants 1:4, but often 1:3; toddlers 1:5; preschool depends on classroom needs, but usually 1:7…we have some preschool rooms that are 1:4.
Our licensing specialist that has been in the field over 25 years says we have incredibly low ratios. Some of the lowest she has ever seen and she oversees over 150 centers.
Q: What does it mean to be an Arkansas Better Beginnings quality-approved facility?
It means we are going above and beyond minimum licensing requirements, we are utilizing best practice, and we are truly committed to doing what is best for the children and staff in our care. We are assessed by independent assessors and must receive a certain score to qualify for the various levels.
We should have our level 3 (the highest level) by the end of this summer. We are simply waiting on our assessments!
Q: What would you tell someone who asked you, “What’s the best thing about Bright Haven?”
The people. Staff, children, families. PEOPLE.