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Daycare Center reviews in Columbia

  • A
    We LOVE Bright Start Academy (the East location in Columbia on Bearfield). My son started there at 10 weeks old (11/2014) and he is now 3 years old as of 9/2017. We toured several facilities before we settled on Bright Start, but we were won over by several factors: big outdoor play areas and plenty of toys, cleanliness in general, and the security features. Now that our son is preschool age, we have many other options, but we're still driving out of our way to go to Bright Start! I love the low turnover of students. It's a big center, but the kids are grouped by age and he's been in classes with the same children since they were tiny babies together. I feel like they've grown up as siblings. We know all of these kids and we love them. My son can't wait to get to school and play with his friends each day. Staff turnover is low as well. Each classroom has full-time teachers, not just a rotating door of college-age part-timers (which was my assumption before we started there). Sometimes it can take me 10 minutes to drop my son off in the morning if he goes to say hello and hug his teachers! They all remember his name and they remember my name too! I really appreciate center-based care. There are many staff members on site to provide backup in case a teacher is ill or has an emergency, and these issues never interfere with the care provided for my son. I never have to worry that our center will be closed unexpectedly. And the professionalism of the staff is top-notch. I am welcome to drop by anytime during the day, and each classroom has a two-way mirror so that if I arrive early, I can peek in and see my son interacting with his teacher and classmates without being distracted by me. I really like this! And Bright Start uses an app called Brightwheel to stay in touch with parents during the day. The teachers send pictures of the kids doing all kinds of activities and having fun together. Even grandparents can sign up for the app and get the pictures, too. I love Bright Start Academy, and I know my son is getting good care there.
    - Abbie B.
  • F
    My granddaughter started services at this day care with the expectations of receiving early learning curriculum and a safe care. My granddaughter's diaper was changed only twice in a 8 hour period. When my daughter picked-up my granddaugher she had food dried on her face, a wet diaper, and only two bottles used for an 8 hour day. During the time my granddaughter was at this day care she suffered, pink eye, influenza, two ear infections, a continuous diaper rash, and a cold. Prior to being at this day care she was never ill. On Thanksgiving, when my granddaughter was ill again, we decided to stop having her go to this horrible day care. She has not had any illnesses since leaving this day care. I am a RN and have never seen such neglect for such a high price!!!
    - Terrence F.
  • F
    The downside to being a working parent is that you have to place a certain amount of trust in the daycare that your child goes to. Usually at a facility you feel secure. It seems more stable and safe. There are cameras to monitor everything. At this preschool those cameras are a false since of security. This will explain me and my sons experience at Cannery Row Preschool.
    We started taking my son to Cannery Row in April of 2013. He was 14 months old and was in the baby room (6weeks-2 y/o). My son was previously at an in-home daycare, however that provider became pregnant again, and decided not to do in-home care until her children were a little older. We thought that we were doing what was best for my son. We liked that the facility considered itself a "preschool" that way my child could learn more, interact with other children, etc. I was informed that they taught sign language. We started speaking to my child in simple sign language since birth and he knows 4-5 signs (mainly b/c that is all the signs we know). We thought that he would be absolutely safe b/c there were cameras. We were informed multiple times that we could watch the film anytime and even have access to the live feed. This sounded GREAT! We also noticed that they charge about $20 less per week than other daycare/preschool facilities in the area, which made it even better. Plus we live near the location. We started my son in April. Things at first were ok. We figured it was a transition for our son to get used to the new environment. After being told numerous times that I could have access to the live feed, I was told in June that it was not possible d/t "security and IP address is constantly changing". To help satisfy my need to watch, the owner would text me "short films" of my son.  I came in early one day (around nap time) and all the children had blankets on their face. I thought that was odd, but was told that is just what they do to help the children sleep, but they watch them very closely to make sure that they are ok. A few week later my husband heard one of the teachers yelling at the students in another room. This was concerning, but one occurrence didn't seem like a reason to raise alarm. A month later I heard a "teacher" yell at some other children, "CANT YOU SEE IM ON THE PHONE,  BE QUIET". At this time, we decided to contact the owner about this experience. I was informed by the owner that the workers are not to be on their phones at anytime and that she will have a meeting to discuss this. Either the meeting didn't happen or her employees didn't care, because her staff is constantly on the phone making personal calls. She watches the footage too, so I guess she really didn't care either. The fact that her staff doesn't teach the children sign language when she claims they do is something else that can be overlooked. The fact that they cover childrens' faces while they sleep can be a little alarming. The fact that they have the infants watch TV throughout the day, depending on parenting style can vary w/ opinion ( will show you amount of TV recommended for this age group-which is none). They left my child on the adult toilet while in another room.
    Things started getting worse at the end of June and beginning of July. My son started getting bit at least once a week. I was signing incident reports weekly. Those bites would leave red marks and bruises for multiple days. I understand that biting happens, but at some point the children have to be watched to help avoid those incidents, especially when its the same child biting all the other children. They have a policy that after 3 bites, the child is asked to relocate to another facility. The reason this did not occur is because the child that keep biting is a friend of the owners, therefore he receives special attention and exceptions.
    In one week, my child was 3 times. Two of those times, he was there for less than 5 hours (1/2 day). I decided that given the above and the frequency of him being hurt, that it was time for me to transition him to another facility.
    The day I gave my notice was on a Monday in August 2013.  It was nice meeting with the owner. I informed her that per the contract I would give a 2 week notice, however, if his safety continued to be at risk, I would have to terminate their services immediately. She verbalized understanding and agreement.
    That day my sons fingers were slammed in the door. Trying to think that it was a weird accident I kept him there. On Wednesday, I was informed that he had bit another classmate. I felt awful for that child and parent. I know how that feels. My child has been getting bit repeatedly at that facility. I asked to view the footage. I wanted to see what happened for him to bite someone, then wanted to see how it was handled. She texted me the video of the beginning of the incident. In the background you see her 2nd in command talking on the phone. My son was playing with a toy with another child, and when they both reach for it he did bite. When that happens, you see her second in command (still on the phone) jerk up the child that was bit, and push her off to another worker. She looks annoyed and mad. When she finally gets off the phone, she goes over to my child and the footage stops. I asked to see the rest-his punishment. I was ignored by the owner multiple times (via text message). Finally she texts back" Ok. So I just watched it. He was picked up and placed in the high chair. Unfortunately that part does not show on camera." I asked to see the part that was on film. I figured since her 2nd in command was there, everything would be handled per protocol. I was repeatedly denied. I asked to come in and watch it at their convenience. They finally agreed the next day to meet at Noon. At 11:45 am, I received a call that the meeting was cancelled and the contract has been terminated effective immediately. I came in, was give part of my sons belongings and was told that they could not show me the footage. At first was for confidentiality reasons. When I bought to her attention that I have been allowed multiple videos that she has sent and that we all sign a wavier to have the children taped, the reason became one of the worse any parent wants to hear. She CANNOT SHOW ME TO FOOTAGE BECAUSE "WE HAVE TO PROTECT OURSELVES". I want all parents to read this. This is wrong! She allowed her staff to be inappropriate with my child and is protecting them and herself. That is sick! She knows that in Missouri, you do not have to show parents the footage, and she uses this false since of security to gain your trust. Once she has that, then her staff is free to do as the please b/c if you ask to see the footage that shows them being inappropriate, then your contract is terminated. After telling another parent about my experience, they asked the owner to see some footage of when their child was injured. At first she told them "no problem". Later on that day they were denied access-luckily they knew what that met and took their child out that day.
    I would NEVER recommend this place to anyone. This is an awful "daycare". I would recommend to see footage of your child everyday and especially when they are involved in any type of incident.
    Beware of her charm. She comes across as a very "sweet" and "caring" person, until something happens. I honestly did not see the evil until this incident. I regret ever taking my child there.
    - Eric H.
  • F
    We went to this center when we had no other spot availble in other places in town. Talking to the Director of the place and appearence of the classrooms made us think this will be a good place for our child. But things didn't seems the way they are after admitting the child to this center. 
     The food is all canned items, nothing is cooked here. only fresh fruit is banana. The food is awful for a toddler. At least 2-3 times a week sausages will be given to toddlers. I assume they must be the cheapest ones you can get at the store according to what we have seen. In the morning kids will be given with just a plain piece of bread without any thing on it. Teachers sit next to kids and eat the same bread spread with chunks of Jelly/Jam. One banana will be cut in to atleast 8 pieces and only one will be given to a kid, they'll get more ONLY if they ask for more. So if your child cannot speak a single word, thats all that kid going to have for the morning. 
     I specially hated one teacher in this toddler room, because she never smiled with a kid, never welcome them. I have always seen her eating at a corner of the room having the most desperate face on earth. One day we went to drop off ours and we saw one  child was crying, she asked that child " WHAT DO YOU WANT?" in a rude way. If a child knows what they want, and able to speak they dont have to cry. So this person didn't even know that simple thing about a child and yet works in a child care center!!!!
    Dont send any nice looking items with your kids, they will be stolen. No one here takes the responsibility. Even though they say, we have a security door/codes/cameras, if you loose your things they will say 'we dont know'. The director is nice to talk with but the teachers might be sleeping while things get stolen/lost. 
    Whole summer, kids are out. once in a while the teachers do something to show that they are following some curriculum. Summer routine is, breakfast, outside, lunch, nap, snack and outside till parents come. They dont apply sunscreen when they are out all the times so kids get sun burns while teachers sit in shade and watch kids playing. Sometimes kids get bitten by another so badly, which shows that no one's around to separate the biting kid. By the time the teacher comes the kids are terribly bitten by other one. 
    If they have runny nose their noses will not be cleaned by the teachers. They are too lazy to go inside and bring tissues to wipe the child's nose. By the time we pick our kid, its hard to remove the crusted snot from the nose which stayed on the nose and dried out, this made the child cry cos it hurts to remove crusted snot form the nose. I was pretty dissapointed with this place !!!
    - Malik S.
  • C
    We put a deposit down to secure an infant spot at Rock Bridge Preschool.  Months later (and just 8 weeks before we needed our childcare to begin), we received an email from the owner saying we no long had a spot secured.  A family was going to leave, but decided to stay and she gave them our spot.
    We were very disappointed and quite shocked that an email (rather than a phone call) was how they chose to address this challenging situation.  If that is a sign of their professionalism, or lack there of, I am glad we ended up somewhere else.
    - Jen S.
  • A
    All the teachers my children had during that time were amazing and treated my kids special.  I never worried about leaving them, they wanted to go to school.  The Director and the Owners made us feel like family.  I love the summer program.  It was a little costly but in my opinion you get what you pay for and my oldest daughter was always busy doing something or going somewhere.  I loved that they were not sitting around a classroom doing nothing, but out and about experiencing Columbia.  We only stopped going because we moved out of Columbia.  Definitely recommend though!
    - Jennifer S.
  • A
    We started going to Cannery Row when the previously child care provider I was using in Boonville did not work out.  I have found it to be very clean, fun and family oriented.  My youngest attends in the three year old room and they treat her so special as well as the other children.  I hear lots of laughing when we get there in the morning and she is exhausted when she leaves at night.  Ilove that she is already starting to spell her name and read.  She loves going to the "gym bus" on Fridays.  They even allow my oldest to attend on her days off.  Highly recommend.
    - Jennifer S.
  • F
    We thought it looked great, my son's father and I are both educators (I'm an early childhood educator) and chose carefully. It was very clean looking. 
    We were there one week, because on the first day of the second week, our son came home with all of his food still in his bag. At 9 months old, that's quite a long time to go without eating (a full day). At KinderCare, they use red biohazard labels (no joke) for breastmilk brought from home, and label with date all food you bring. All of the food was still there. My son came home and started literally chewing on furniture, and I knew something was up. When I called, they told me they probably fed him something else, but I know this wasn't the case, because my son had never acted so starving before, and they are extremely careful about not providing anything for free or by mistake. 
    During pick-up one evening the week before, I came in and all of the children in the classroom (5 babies) were all in one crib, all crying, and looked like they'd been crying for a while. I asked about this, and they told me it was because they had a fire drill earlier in the day. Even so, why were they all still in the crib, and all crying, with no attention? 

    I've heard terrible things about KinderCare, even in other states, but I thought they must all operate under different rules. Apparently not.
    - Natasha B.
  • D
    - stephanie w.
  • A
    My toddler attends GMP, and we love it.  They teachers and staff are wonderful.  It is not the cheapest place in town, but it is well worth the money.  I pay $250/week.
    - Karen H.
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Daycare Centers in Columbia

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